'Anti-Facebook' Overwhelmed With Responses After Public Launch

5:28 PM PST 10/26/2011 by Kimberly Nordyke

Unthink.com, which aims to take on "deceptive business practices of social media giant Facebook and its ilk," remains inaccessible due to being "over capacity."

Unthink.com, which bills itself as the "anti-Facebook," was overwhelmed with responses Wednesday, a day after launching to the public.

Repeated attempts to access the site, which is in beta testing mode, were met with this message: "UNTHINK is over capacity. Please try again later."

The Tampa-based company, which according to TechCrunch has $2.5 million in funding from DouglasBay, was announced in late August and first unveiled to a select group of early adopters who had pre-registered last month.

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The company aims to take on the "deceptive business practices of social media giant Facebook and its ilk," a September press release read. "Unthink is a legal, economic and technological innovation that moves the market in a completely new direction, exposing the exploitive nature of the existing paradigm. Unthink is a social revolution that heralds the arrival of Web 3.0."

The company claims that current sites on "Web 2.0" operate in such a manner that "users, who provide free labor, are denied ownership of their own content and have become the product harvested by each site." Its mission, therefore, is to "return control to the users, reduce the noise and unclutter our lives by organizing and filtering the chaos of Web 2.0."

In short, Unthink's founders say they want the user to be in control, which they claim isn't the case on Facebook.

"If we want to be free, we have to control our own communications ... we have to claim that power," Unthink CEO Natasha Dedis reportedly said at a tech conference last month.

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According to TechCrunch, one big difference between Facebook and Unthink revolves around the advertising model. Facebook provides information about user activity to advertisers, while Unthink allows users to select a specific brand to sponsor their page, thereby becoming sort of an advocate for that brand.

Additionally, advertiser messages are placed into a separate section on users' profile pages, unlike Facebook, where they are shuffled in among the News Feed posts.

Unthink users, therefore, can decide which brands they want to interact with and are rewarded for their involvement with points they can use for discounts and other offers.

Meanwhile, Unthink also is aiming to make it easy for Facebook users to make the switch. TechCrunch reports that after signing up, users are offered the option of importing photos and videos from Facebook.

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And TechCrunch notes that the privacy controls are "easy to customize." That's an issue that has repeatedly given Facebook trouble, with privacy advocates and lawmakers around the globe calling for investigations into the company's privacy practices.

In August, Facebook did revamp its privacy settings, introducing a slew of changes to its sharing and tagging features, among others. The action also was seen a competitive move against Google's social networking service Google+, which launched in July.

Meanwhile, the only way to join Unthink at present is to know someone who is already in and can send you an invite.

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