What can I use instead of Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp?

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9 Prominent Social Media Platforms in 2021

The world of social media is changing fast. 

And it seems like almost every day, there’s a new platform popping up that’s taking the industry by storm. 

But which of these platforms is actually here to stay? What makes them different from other social media platforms already out there? And what do you need to know about each to determine if your church should be using it for marketing or not? 

That’s exactly what this guide is going to look into. 

Today, we’re covering 9 of the newest and fastest growing social media platforms being used right now. 

 

So, ready to learn more about 


Platform: TikTok

A new social media platform that’s getting bigger by the day, TikTok has now become more popular in app stores than more established platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

 

Users can film short videos that play on a repetitive look and add fun effects, filters, text, and musical overlays. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

It’s most similar to YouTube and Instagram. 

How Does It Handle Advertising?

Ads come in several different forms. 

 

  • In-Feed Video – Ads appear in the native news feed. 
  • Brand Takeover – Ads take over the full screen when users open the app. 
  • Hashtag Challenge – Ad appears on the Discovery page and encourages users to create new content based on challenge rules. 
  • Branded AR Content – Add appears as 2D/3D/AR content for TikTok users to use in their own content
  • Custom Influencer Package – Ad appears as sponsored content put out by market influencers. 

Does It Collect Any User Data?

It does. It collects data on which videos are watched and commented on, location data, phone model and operating system, and much more. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Users can watch, like, comment on, and share videos with other users.

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Provides free exposure to billions of users
  • Mobile-first platform
  • Rewards authenticity
  • Great for younger audiences

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • Older generations are likely not on it
  • Less targeting data to go off of compared to platforms like Facebook
  • Limited content type (only video)
  • Ads tend to be expensive

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

TikTok allows for business accounts, not just personal accounts. 

What Else Should You Know About It?

Using TikTok for marketing can be tough since a lot of the content is meant to be comical, not promotional. 


Platform: Clubhouse

This new social media platform is getting a lot of attention for its uniqueness. Rather than users being able to scroll through content that’s already been created, Clubhouse users can tune in to audio-only content that’s being aired live

 

Content can cover everything from business startups and relationship management to old movies and comedy shows. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

It’s similar to podcasts but with the same in-the-moment feel of Twitter or Snapchat.

How Does It Handle Advertising?

Currently Clubhouse does not offer any in-app advertising functionality. Some predict that that will eventually change once the platform gets bigger (it was founded in 2020). 

 

That being said, the invite-only restrictions to audio shows open up the door to plenty of possibilities when it comes to future advertising. 

 

Possibilities include branded events, host sponsor reads (think traditional commercials), paid guest spots, and more. 

Does It Collect Any User Data?

It does. It monitors who you are following, what rooms you have joined, and (if you give it permission) the contacts in your phone. The platform actually invites your contacts to follow you on Clubhouse after connecting. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Clubhouse is currently an invite-only platform. That means the only way to sign up is by getting invited on by another user. 

 

Once on the platform, users can follow other members, join rooms and clubs, and even talk to other members in real-time. You can also raise your digital hand so presenters can call on you to respond. 

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Real-time conversations make the platform feel highly interactive
  • Plenty of experts on the program so great learning opportunities from knowledgeable people
  • Deeper connections with people since you’re talking with them in real-time

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • Not for everyone since some people use social media to escape real-time interactions
  • Can be hard to determine who you should be listening to
  • People have reported spending hours and hours on Clubhouse so it seems to be especially addictive

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

Accounts are personal only though you can mention your business or brand in your profile. 

What Else Should You Know About It?

Clubhouse is still in its infancy as of right now. However, there are a lot of people (and investors) who are betting on it becoming the next big thing. 

 

While it may not be set up as well for marketing as other platforms as it stands today, there’s a lot of potential for it to only get bigger in the coming years. 


Platform: Caffeine

Founded in 2016 and launched in 2018, Caffeine is a live video broadcast streaming service. It lets creators make live video content and share it with friends, family, and followers. 

 

Like other platforms, content shows up in a feed and users can like, comment, or send emoji reactions to channels.

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

It has the video capabilities of Instagram and Facebook but, like Clubhouse, is happening live instead.

How Does It Handle Advertising?

There is no direct advertising at the moment. Instead, the company makes money by selling digital gifts using its own currency, Caffeine Gold. These gifts can be then given to broadcasters. 

Does It Collect Any User Data?

Yes. It collects personal information like your name and email address, content you create or interact with, communications and support data, and data for credit redemptions that are then passed on to a third party. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Users can live chat with other users, watch live broadcasts, send gifts, and follow users or broadcast channels.

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Leverages the undeniable power of video 
  • Quickly growing and on track to out-pace competitors like Twitch
  • Laser-focused on targeting younger audiences under 25

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • Interactivity is a bit limited right now
  • Audiences over 25 may not be on it
  • Live content can be inconvenient to produce

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

Yes you can have brand accounts.

What Else Should You Know About It?

Marketing your church with Caffeine can be tough due to the live nature of content.

 

That being said, doing so well is a fantastic way to get in front of the younger generation. 


Platform: Telegram

Telegram is emerging as one of the most popular messaging services in the world. It’s a cloud-based software so you can access your messages from any connected device. It’s also fast and free.

 

What separates it from competitors is its focus on security and privacy. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

The most similar apps are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Signal.

How Does It Handle Advertising?

As of now, you cannot run ads on Telegram. However, there is talk about that changing soon. And for a fee, businesses will be able to show ads in the large “one-to-many” channels but not in 1-on-1 or group chats.

Does It Collect Any User Data?

Despite its marketing as an ultra-secure messaging app, telegram’s end-to-end encryption is not applied by default. As such, it can read chat data that takes place in cloud chats. However, it cannot read data in “secret chats” or on video calls. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Users can join and create group and private chats. They can also start “channels” which allow them exclusively to post messages to a wide audience. Users can also send messages, stickers, images, and videos to others.

What’s Good About the Platform?

It’s free to use, fast, and available on any connected device.

What’s Bad About the Platform?

It’s not as secure as it tries to make itself out to be since most chats aren’t end-to-end encrypted.

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

You can have both brand and personal accounts. 

What Else Should You Know About It?

Advertising isn’t available yet but it may be soon. Plus, brands can still create channels that connect their business with their customers for free, which can be a great way to grow their audience. 


Platform: Gab

Gab is a social networking platform that differentiates itself by focusing on “free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online.” 

 

It has recently generated media attention for its far-right user base. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

It’s most similar to platforms like Twitter.

How Does It Handle Advertising?

Gab does not allow for advertising.

Does It Collect Any User Data?

Gab collects personally identifiable information like email addresses and automatically collects information on how you use the website. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Like Twitter, users can create posts and link to outside websites. Users can then like, comment, repost, quote, or share those posts with others. 

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Very similar to Twitter and easy to use
  • Well-established audience type that uses the platform
  • Breaking stories section

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • May have negative connotations for some users (“far-right extremists”, etc.)
  • Not much interactivity besides posting, liking, and sharing.

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

Brand pages are allowed.

What Else Should You Know About It?

While Gab has grown over the years, its reputation has taken a hit lately. Today, it is connected to far-right extremism in the minds of the wider public. As such, creating a presence on Gab may be perceived as taking a stance on certain political issues. 


Platform: Parler

Parler is a microblogging and social network service. Similar to Gab, it labels itself as an unbiased social media platform that stands for free speech. 

 

It also strives to keep bots off the platform, an issue platforms like Facebook have had difficulty with in the past. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

Parler is most similar to Facebook and Twitter.

How Does It Handle Advertising?

You can advertise on parler. However, requirements to begin advertising are strict as you must be a verified user. Parler has also been known to be picky about what types of advertisements they allow. 

Does It Collect Any User Data?

Parler collects the information users provide (personally identifiable information) and information on usage, device and location information, contacts, and information from cookies. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Like Gab, it has a similar feel to Twitter and Facebook. You can follow accounts and have content from those accounts stream into your news feed. Users can upload photos, GIFs, memes, and other stories. You can also comment on, repost, and upvote content. 

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Established reputation
  • Lots of users
  • Easy to use

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • Particularly niched content may exclude some brands
  • Not carried on some major app platforms

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

Brand pages are allowed. 

What Else Should You Know About It?

Like Gab, Parler has been connected with far-right extremism. However, its audience is not made up exclusively of those types of users. It’s advertising network can also be tough to get into as its requirements are more stringent than other platforms. 


Platform: Rumble

Rumble is a social media platform that lets users publish and share video content online. It also allows users to vote on videos they like and generate revenue off of their own content. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

It’s most similar to YouTube. 

How Does It Handle Advertising?

You can advertise on Rumble. Ads are similar to those shown on YouTube and integrate with a variety of networks like Google AdSense, Facebook Audience Network, and more. 

Does It Collect Any User Data?

It does, though not as much as YouTube. In addition to information on provided details and content interaction, it shares some information with third parties too.

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Users can vote and comment on videos as well as post their own content. Especially popular video creators have the ability to monetize their content as well. 

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Good alternative to YouTube
  • Advertising capabilities
  • Plenty of monetization options

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • You need to be a publisher to publish videos
  • Videos need approval for monetization

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

There are brand pages.

What Else Should You Know About It?

Rumble has emerged as one of the hottest alternatives to YouTube. It has a very set system of ethical standards (nothing illegal, no pornography, etc.). But other than that, users can create whatever type of content they wish. 


Platform: Patreon

Patreon is a platform that helps artists and creators get paid by their fans. They can set up monthly subscriptions as well as membership tiers that provide fans with more gated content. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

Patreon is most similar to other crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. 

How Does It Handle Advertising?

You cannot advertise on Patreon. 

Does It Collect Any User Data?

It collects all provided information as well as usage information on their website and cookies from other websites. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Users can join a creator’s Patreon page after choosing a membership package. You can also share pages, follow them, and comment on posts after completing your membership. 

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Allows traditionally unsupported content creators to make a steady income
  • Takes care of all the nitty gritty details regarding payments
  • Provides tools to help increase engagement

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • No way to create ads
  • You pay a percentage of your income to Patreon and processing fees

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

Brand pages are available. 

What Else Should You Know About It?

Patreon is unlike most other social media platforms out there in that users actually pay to receive your content. As such, it’s important to make high-quality content your subscribers will love. Otherwise, you risk unsubscribes and drops in revenue. 


Platform: BitChute

BitChute is another video platform similar to Rumble and prides itself on being a video platform built on free speech. 

What Other Big-Name Platform Is It Like?

It’s similar to major platforms like YouTube. 

How Does It Handle Advertising?

Advertising is in its infancy on BitChute and is only being tested with a handful of creators. However, once the testing is complete, it will be available for other creators. 

Does It Collect Any User Data?

BitChute collects information supplied by users and information on how they interact with content on the site. They also utilize cookies. 

What Is the Engagement Process Like?

Users can subscribe to channels, like or dislike videos, comment, add to favorites, and tip creators. 

What’s Good About the Platform?

  • Heavy focus on free speech
  • Plenty of methods of engagement
  • Solid alternative to YouTube

What’s Bad About the Platform?

  • Can be unreliable
  • Very niched topics

Are There Brand Pages or Just Personal Accounts?

You can create brand pages.

What Else Should You Know About It?

Similar to Gab, Parler, and Rumble, BitChute has earned a reputation for a heavily conservative user base. This can be either a positive quality or a negative quality of the platform, depending on your goals. 

 

 

 


Need Help Navigating New Social Media Platforms?

No problem. That’s what Epic Life Creative is here for. 

 

Epic Life Creative is a purpose-driven team of expert marketers, talented designers, and exceptional developers. 

Our mission is to help churches like yours improve their digital presence and build their community so they can better spread their message. 

We’re also digital marketing experts, so we always know which social media platform will work for our clients—and which ones won’t.

And we’d love to help you too. 

Just click below now to get in touch today. 

Get in Touch With Epic Life Creative

 

Who Is Epic?

We long to make a difference in the world by providing innovative solutions that Love, Serve and Build.

We’re passionate about serving our partners quickly & efficiently with high-end graphic design, web development, SEO and social media.

Our team wears lots of hats as we tackle our partner’s projects and work seamlessly, passing tasks back and forth to ensure an excellent product and to be sure things keep moving quickly. We’d love to help serve you too!

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