Facebook alternatives

Barron’s contemplates them.

The proverbial sky seems to be falling on Facebook (FB), with founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreeing to finally answer questions from Congress in the coming weeks.

Lawmakers will be pushing Zuckerberg about the company’s privacy controversy, but the issues go deeper for Facebook. The fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting episode has exposed Facebook to two risks that aren’t getting much attention: One is the possibility, slight as it might be, that Facebook is newly vulnerable to competition. The other very real risk is Facebook’s ability to retain and recruit top talent in hypercompetitive Silicon Valley. The biggest names in the Valley routinely poach workers from one another.

First, those plucky competitors. I need not look further than my email folder. Idka, an advertising-free social network, on Wednesday announced its subscription-based platform would be free to new users through October 2018. The company, which has vowed not to sell or share user data, claims a 50{0e0118f8ae392893e7132af0e0c1b6af259b6ae2f64a392a36423d79bfd12d2b} increase in new users and an 800{0e0118f8ae392893e7132af0e0c1b6af259b6ae2f64a392a36423d79bfd12d2b} increase in website visits in the past week.

I wonder where all those new users came from…. Seriously, though, if you’re not on Idka yet, give it a whirl. We’re going to establish a new Voxiversity group there later this week.