Minds Is the Anti-Facebook That Pays You for Your Time... And You Can Now Find Newsworthies On The Platform!
During Mark Zuckerberg's over 10 hours of Congressional testimony, lawmakers repeatedly asked how Facebook makes money. The simple answer, which Zuckerberg dodged, is the contributions and online activities of its over two billion users, which allow marketers to target ads with razor precision. In which case, asked representative Paul Tonko (D - New York), "why doesn't Facebook pay its users for their incredibly valuable data?"
It's a good question, one that alternative social networks like Minds have attempted to answer. The idea isn't entirely new—Minds launched in 2015—but the site and others like it feel especially relevant as people begin to reexamine the bargain Facebook has made with them.
Minds is tiny compared to Facebook—it only has around one million users, 110,000 or so of whom are active each month—but it's a prominent example of what it looks like when a platform inverts the traditional ad-supported model. It doesn't feel entirely different from Facebook, at least not at first. The site's home page is a news feed, with tabs for browsing images, videos, blogs, and groups at the top of the page. If you don't follow anyone in particular, it quickly fills with the equivalent of ads, which Minds calls "Boosts." (You can also banish all the boosted posts from your feed with a $5 Minds Plus monthly subscription.)
In a refreshing change from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of the major platforms, Minds has also retained a strictly reverse-chronological timeline. The core of the Minds experience, though, is that users receive "tokens" when others interact with their posts, or simply by spending time on the platform.
"Helping people make money online is such an important focus of ours," says 32-year-old Minds founder Bill Ottman.