In September 2016, I wrote about the less than month old social network Gab as a first-in social network opportunity for any business.
What is Gab?
Gab is a new social network founded in August 2016, very similar to Twitter but describes itself as the “free speech” alternative. You can share short messages (300 characters or less), photos, videos or a website link such as a blog post (here is a Gab write-up).
Fast Gab Facts Provided by Similar Web
Here are statistics about Gab’s growth from it’s beginning in August 2016 to December 2016.
Total Website Traffic
- August 2016: 240,000 visits.
- December 2016: 3.8 million visits.
Global Website Rank
- December 2016: 11,148
NOTE: There are currently over 1.1 billion websites in the world and Gab ranks ahead of 99.99%.
United States Website Rank
- December 2016: 3,945
- August 2016: 0
- December 2016: 100,000
NOTE: There are 200,000 more users that have signed up but are on wait lists.
Interview with Gab’s Chief Communications Officer
At the beginning of December, I asked a few questions to Gab’s Chief Communication Officer Utsav Sanduja. Here was our correspondence:
If you are able to share, how many people have created accounts (rough number) and how many are using Gab each day or month?
At present our organization, which began on August of 2016, has over 100,000 users with 200,000 in wait list signups, along with an unprecedented 2.45 million gabs sent, of which an average of 20,000 gabs are shared per day.
The site ranks 19,685 globally in online activity, 3,300 in The United States and has over 24 million page views, with our largest growth base emanating from the United States, India and Brazil. Finally, Gab is very intent on recruiting users from France in anticipation of the upcoming presidential elections there.
What would you say to businesses that might have a Facebook or Twitter account and are wary about trying a new social network?
Gab has a strong, deep and rich organic set of users that vary from professional class workers, young families and those in retirement.
One thing that Gab takes immense pride in is the ease in which entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals are able to set up shop, promote their brand, products and services in an expeditious manner.
Further to this, because of our close-knit ecosystem and culture that Gab has fostered, business people everywhere have commended us for the quality of interactions amongst our user base. It is due to this congenial and personable environment that has given longevity and security to business relationships of all kind on Gab. Finally, Gab’s growth internationally in India, Brazil and France have allowed us to reach niche user bases that Big Social have failed to utilize.
I think when people look at Gab, myself included, it gets compared to Twitter since that gives it context. What would you say are the big ways Gab has differentiated and will continue to differentiate itself from Twitter?
Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit are taking the path of censorship — Gab does not. This alone sets us apart from Big Social. The aforementioned platforms also rely immensely on advertising revenues for their core business model, a concept that is proving to be futile in an environment of ad blockers on both mobile and desktop web.
Lastly, we feel that Big Social does not empower content creators, but rather exploits them as said companies make billions off their creativity, time and energy. Gab takes a different approach — we put the user in charge in the expurgation process, we put content creators first so they can sustain their business and passion. And more importantly, we put free speech above all else.
Gab has also innovated in areas where other platforms have refused to. 300 characters allows for more thoughtful and meaningful discourse in a microblogging environment. Upvoting and downvoting allows both positive and negative sentiment as it empowers the community to surface great content. Categories help users discover interesting topics and diverse communities on Gab who share similar interests. Editing along with edit logs allows users to make quick changes and modify additional information, while keeping the integrity of the post in check.
Do you have a rough estimate of when Gab will allow users to upload pictures and videos? Is Gab planning on giving YouTube a run for their money as a video hosting platform?
For now, Gab seems to be dominated by the political right, how will Gab position itself to create an environment where a wide array of opinions are expressed?
We challenge this premise completely — to the contrary, Gab has a number of diverse users globally. Whether it is Catholic stoics from Austria, Hindu philosophers from India or up-and-coming independent rap artists with socially liberal viewpoints in Canada, here on Gab we openly welcome and embrace the diversity that is at the heart of our ecosystem.
With respect to our conservative user base, when a group of people are being systematically dehumanized and labelled as the alphabet soup of phobias, they will look for a place that will allow them to speak freely without censorship and devoid of Social Justice bullying. Down the road, our future plans include open sourcing our trends section to the developer community so that biases of any kind can be curbed and brought down to a minimum. Gab is for everyone, regardless of one’s ideological predisposition.
I break down Gab and Twitter’s early days and dig into why businesses should not just keep a close eye on Gab but also how it illustrates the quickening pace of social media attention shifts.
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I share social media basics and success stories, press the heart button if you want to get on Gab.
Even though I write this on every post, thanks for reading.