Monday, August 29, 2016

Facebook Alternative beBee? A Review

beBee vs Facebook

First off: beBee is not in direct competition with Facebook. 

In all honesty, I am not exactly sure about Facebook´s mission. If we say that it´s a platform to connect with your family and friends, Facebook wins. beBee, the affinity-based network, has a different mission.

I´ve shared some general info about beBee in "Linked in vs beBee" and my concern regarding the data quality and changes to privacy at facebook HERE.

Many people on Facebook use it in a different sense: 
  • Winning clients
  • Building a brand
  • Playing games

Sadly, these days one can get the impression that the site has become a huge playground for advertisers and spam. The huge number of fake profiles, bots, and scammers in addition to Facebook´s aggressive privacy TOS make some people start to distrust the site. 

Are you on LinkedIn too? How many times do you read "This post belongs on Facebook" in your feed? Facebook has become a synonym for low quality and unprofessional posts. 

Is that the right place to build your brand?

Problems with Facebook


Negativity
Researchers have found that people feel happier once they leave Facebook. I will have to agree, I felt better after I left.

Part of the explanation is probably that people portray themselves in a positive light. They post about an ideal persona. That can make people feel lonely and unsuccessful. The other part of the problem is that - no matter if you agree with the content or not - the massive amount of negative messages has a negative impact on your brain. 

One-sided view
Facebook shows you more of what you "like". The problem is that you are starting to see a filtered view of reality. 

Bots/Spam/Scam
Facebook might have the highest amount of users (especially as they seem to be very accepting of fake profiles, and automated bot profiles) but the amount of scam and spam is hard to tolerate. 

Advertisers
Smaller pages have one severe problem: Basically, even people who liked your page often don´t see your posts. Facebook has a solution: Pay to show your own followers posts at a prominent position. If you are not willing to pay - for new pages and small companies it can be difficult to gain visibility. 

What is beBee?

    Facebook versus beBee review
  • Affinity-based community
  • Over 10 Million users in the first year
  • 40 K (number growing) US-based users join daily
  • Users are in control of the content they want to see 
  • High visibility
  • Meaningful interaction
  • Job-Search and Headhunter portal
  • ad-free, privacy breach free
  • no bot activity, hardly any spam


Conclusion

Depending on what you are trying to achieve, beBee might be a Facebook alternative or addition for you. 

Again, if you are looking to just connect with family and friends and do not mind the downsides of Facebook you might not be interested. 

If you are looking for genuine interaction, likeminded people, building your brand - this is the place to bee.

I moved. Have a look at my profile HERE

Sunday, August 28, 2016

LinkedIn Alternative beBee? A Review

beBee versus LinkedIn


beBee is not in direct competition with LinkedIn. You might have noticed that many people seem to be less active on LinkedIn in the last weeks. They keep their profiles, but they stop posting Pulse posts. I am wondering if beBee is partly responsible for that trend. As the Microsoft acquisition happened at the same time it´s hard to say.

What is beBee?

beBee is a Spanish site with meanwhile 11.6 Million users. It is fast growing and appears to be in the process of taking the US by storm. About 40k new US-based user join daily. Last week, beBee opened their office in New York.

beBee is designed to give users control over important features such as notifications, the type content they view, and how they interact with others of similar interests.- Javier Camara Rica, CEO beBee

Is it the right choice for everyone? Let´s look at the differences:

How does beBee work?

beBee is an "affinity-based" community. You can follow people; they can follow you, and you can subscribe to topics based on your interest. There is no need to send friendship requests.



The difference to other sites is that you share about your business as well as your personal interests.

Because your feed shows posts from the hives and people you follow, your feed will not be cluttered with articles you are not interested in.

The lover of cat pictures will not have to see the posts of the scientists, the business professional will not be bothered with political posts, the grumpy person can stay away from "happy quotes."

Users can post articles ("honey") and status updates ("buzzes") just like on LinkedIn.

I started in June 2016, and I am so far pleased with the outcome. Given that I am still new to the site (and have a small fraction of the number of people following me on LI) I am receiving good visibility.


As you can see, I am getting in position for when beBee is taking Germany (;

The biggest difference I have noticed is that the people on beBee are very open, inclusive and communicative. The funny thing is that several people I am connected with on LI do not post a single post there, but on beBee they share content as if the world would end tomorrow.

The users are very active, I have up to 60 comments on my posts. The comments are mostly of high quality and you can tell that the user has actually read your post.

Currently, beBee is still spam free. No bots or other forms of automation are active on the site. The more people "hide" your posts, the less visibility it will have.

What I love is that the site as of today is ad free. Nobody sells your data or tracks what you do when you leave the site (read: WhatsApp to share user data with Facebook).

beBee, like LI, has a job post- and search function. Small companies can post three adds without charge; larger organizations have the option to purchase a subscription at minimal cost. As I have not looked for a job in ??? years, this is the part I could not compare to LinkedIn.

beBee´s challenge will be to handle the growth. CEO and Co-Founder Javier Camara Rica worked as a Consultant for Oracle and co-founded two companies (professional community and email system) that have been sold successfully.

Co-Founder and serial investor Juan Imaz has built companies from start-ups to multinational corporations since 1993.

Therefore, I am more than optimistic that beBee will be able to handle future growth and the challenges that come with it.


The problem with LinkedIn


As someone who started to be active(ish) on LinkedIn only a year ago, I can say that it is hard to gain visibility. Unless you are into stunts like spamming the site with bikini pictures or have a strong network that gives you lots of "sympathy likes" it will not be easy for people to find your posts.  LinkedIn promotes its Influencers - startups and new writers have a harder time to get noticed.

I am connected to some fascinating people I´d love to read from. But they do not post. The overwhelming majority of posts is from sellers.

Another large part, even though I aggressively disconnect and mute, are "complainer posts" ("This is not appropriate for LinkedIn).

I will not even mention math games, political posts and the newest trend: fake authenticity stories.

People on LinkedIn are careful. I am careful on LinkedIn. Every comment ends up on your profile (yes, you can delete it .. but what a hassle), every like shares the post with your whole network. You do not just write a comment as it crosses your mind. Carefully, you compose a comment that you feel is ok to be added to your professional profile.

There is a lot of talk about authenticity on LinkedIn. But I have yet to see any.

Whom is beBee for?

The only group you will (in my opinion) not reach through beBee are top managers from Fortune 500 companies. This group is very selective about the personal information they share and will probably not be attracted to sign up to a site that is about sharing private interests as well as professional interests.

Pro


  • Modern concept, the affinity-based approached lets you be in control of which kind of information you want to see
  • Unless you explicitly share an article, none of your actions will impact your professional profile on beBee
  • No feed-censoring, the users are in control
  • Extremely reactive customer service, constant development, feedback is being taken seriously
  • The owners are hands on and interact with users daily
  • Troll free, privacy breach free, ad free

Contra


  • Not spammer friendly
  • Quality content beats unoriginal content


Conclusion

beBee is the first social media site that made me participate actively. I would not think that beBee will make LinkedIn obsolete, but many users will keep their profiles on LinkedIn and post and interact on beBee.

beBee is a troll free, inviting, positive community. The affinity-based concept is the future. In my opinion, beBee is the perfect place to build your brand, have a great time, learn and teach.

Have a look at my profile HERE


beBee will be representing Spain at "Startup Europe comes to Silicon Valley". This train is gaining speed - if I were you, I´d hop on now.

Next articles: 
beBee vs. Facebook (you might hear me saying swear words for the first time)
beBee vs. Twitter

Related article:
Juan Imaz "beBee the beginning."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

WhatsApp To Give Phone Numbers To Facebook

Are you like me someone who rarely or never reads the "changes to our TOS." Well, maybe we should start reading them.

Facebook plans to increase ad revenue

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $ 22 Billion.

Facebook Alternative beBee?If you agree to the new TOS (if you don´t you´ll have another 30 days to do so) WhatsApp will begin to share information about your usage of the app as well as your phone number with Facebook. 

Currently, Facebook is losing a few ad clients and is looking for ways to increase revenue. I have sold data mining projects for six years of my life, and I am fully aware of the gigantic amount of information an artificial neural network can predict from what feels like a tiny bit of info you share. 

WhatsApp will not (and could not because of the end to end encryption) share the content of your messages with Facebook. Currently, they will not share your profile name or picture. That might change. 

The information about when you are most active and whom you communicate with will be used by Facebook to complete the detailed profile they already have about you. They then can use the information to show you targeted ads.

If you do not mind the amount of information you are sharing with Facebook - fine. Just be aware that the few pieces of data you are sharing lead to far more knowledge about you than you might think.

An order of a specific wine in combination with a purchase of music from a certain artist might allow someone to predict that there is an 80 % possibility that you are gay or maybe that you are likely to purchase a book about dogs next.

On the day you get Diabetes your insurance (supposed they are using Business Intelligence tools) can predict nearly exactly what your next diseases will be and when you will die. And most importantly from the viewpoint of that health insurance: What you will cost until the day you die. 

Facebook Data Quality?

When it comes to Facebook, I am not objective, and I will admit that. Every popular site has problems with bots, spam and wants to earn money. In my opinion, Facebook takes it to another level, though.

My coaching business is small, I am probably not even their ad-client target. Here´s a thought for those who are:

I am exaggerating here: Some days you can have the feeling that Facebook has become a community of meme posters, advertising clients, bots, hate speech, scam, spam, and fake profiles.

Mindless games, like for instance "Farm Ville" (Zynga) that is played by millions of people encourage their players (who often use a second profile so that nobody will see their game activity) to add tons of "neighbors" They are needed to advance in the game. Farm Ville is only one of many games with that principle.  Many gamers add hundreds of random people just for the purpose of advancing in games.

Obviously, there is no statistics available for: "How many games on Facebook make players click random strangers and create fake profiles". Just to give you an idea: Zynga's less popular game Poker has been played by 350 Million users (Source: Dean Takahashi, 2014) and Millions of users play it daily. This is not Zynga´s only game - and Zynga is only one of many producers who encourage people to use a second profile (as these games have a tendency to spam all of your friends if you are not very careful) and click random people.

I wonder ... what does that mean for the data quality? When advertisers pay tons of money to place ads that´s an important question, right?

The concept of making the owner of pages PAY so that people who "like" the page see the posts is ... well, it´s one where I can only wish Facebook best of luck.

Did you know that Facebook (unless you have a script blocker running or delete your cookies) follows you and sees which other sites you surf on?

Again, before you hand out your most precious possession, your data, make sure that you are fully aware of the amount of information you are giving out.

Facebook alternative beBee?

beBee is an affinity-based community. You could say that it takes the best of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and combines it with its own spin. It is not targeting LinkedIn. If you are in a position where you seek to connect with Top Management, like board members and such, you definitely want to use beBee as an addition. beBee offers employment ads. If you are looking for staff or a job you certainly want to check them out. 

How beBee works


People can follow each other and join what beBee calls "hives". Hives are groups that are focused on a specific topic or industry. What makes beBee unique is that people share their professional content as well as content about their hobbies and such. We talk about "authenticity" a lot. beBees concept is based on just that. What I have never experienced in any community before is that users actually READ your content (not just "like"). The amount of quality content and interaction is extremely high. 

The community is meanwhile 11.6 Million members large and growing fast. As of today, it is 99 % spam, scam and privacy breach free. I think I saw 2 MLM links and received 4 spam messages in the few weeks I am active there. 

Every site will analyze your data and your activity. Unlike Facebook, beBee shows no ads (as of today). Your data neither gets sold nor used for targeted marketing. beBee does not track what you do when you leave the site. 

I will write more about beBee in the next days, make sure to check back or sign up to my newsletter. 

Or ... if you like, have a look at my profile there: beBEE

I recommend that you hurry. As I said, the community is growing at high speed. As always - those who are there first will have an advantage and high visibility.