Snip.City was birthed from the public dissatisfaction with the leading social networks that are conventionally designed primarily around advertising, the monetization of user data and the psychological manipulation of people into spending as much time as possible on their website. Leaving user experience and satisfaction as an afterthought, they concern themselves strictly with being the most reputable players in the market and expect that users will continue to use their services no matter what.
The public is also frustrated with the lack of a decent alternative; with the inability to partake in online social interaction without giving up your basic human right to privacy; with the inability to connect with a friend without ending up wasting endless hours of your day on social media; with their constant "Look what these people are up to!" notifications that you have zero interest in but end up clicking on regardless out of curiosity or boredom; with the constant regulation of innocent interactions that are misinterpreted as malicious, resulting in your posts, your ability to post, or even your entire account getting removed unjustly; with the constant, on-demand reward system that they create with their "likes" and "reactions", that leave you stuck in a feedback loop. Always coming back for more.
Snip.City was also birthed from the inspiration of similarly privacy-conscious communication tools like Telegram and Signal, as well as the disruptive efforts of up and coming companies like Floatplane. These successful efforts inspire us and give us hope that there is indeed an interest and a place for a new, privacy-conscious internet. If we don't built it, who will? The corporations surely won't.
But what's to stop us from becoming the same, you might be wondering. The answer to that is very simple. We decided to eliminate all profit-motive by launching Snip.City as a non-profit. We also do not intend to take on any investors. This way, we can stay true to our ideals and cannot be swayed by numbers or external influences.
Of course, this presents its own set of challenges. As we still have expenses, man hours and staff. To cover these, we've decided to opt for a donations-only business model. We don't want to force anyone to pay anything. We only want your money if it comes willingly out of love, support and a shared passion for our goal. To supplement this, we've also decided to make a few "perks" available for sale, such as a @snip.city email address or seller accounts. We do not and will not place any of our basic services behind a paywall. If we implement additional quality of life services that we have to pay for, we might pass those costs on to our users.
With all of these frustrations in mind, it was clearly laid out to us what not to do. We decided to focus on privacy, user experience and productivity.
Security is also of the utmost importance to us, because you cannot have privacy without security. This means adopting all the best security standards that we can across the board, from our website itself to the servers on the back-end and even the transfer of data between our website and the user, as well as between the website and third party services, to minimize any chances of data breaches.
User experience means keeping our website easy and enjoyable to use. This includes not displaying advertisements to our users or bombarding them with marketing emails/notifications, even though this has sadly become a common aspect of our internet. We only send notification emails and summary emails, both of which can be turned off. This also means keeping our website intuitive and straight forward, without convoluted menus and hidden options, as well as having a robust support system that can help you when you need it. Last but not least, this also means performance, to make sure our users can get what they want done without waiting for pages to load. So this means no hidden tracking scripts that add unnecessary weight. User experience also means accomplishing all of that without using any manipulation tactics that nudge you to come or stay on our website. We are here when you need us and we don't get naggy when you leave.
Productivity means providing useful value adds in the form of third party services that you can use through our website to help you get things done. We not only want to be a place for social interactions, we also want Snip.City to be a platform for work, collaboration and productivity. For example, we've added Draw.io support for in-line creation of charts, diagrams or whatever you feel like drawing, from the same box you use to post status updates. We also intend to add Office integration to be able to create and edit Office files collaboratively and simultaneously with your colleagues from within Snip.City.
Join us in our revolution for a safer, more private internet that puts us, the users, before money or corporations.