Is Tribel Social a Suitable Twitter Replacement for You?

Angry boy with bike

Not convinced to let Twitter go without a replacement? You have many to choose from, but which one is right for you?

Tribel Social was the first alternative to Twitter I decided to check out. This will not be a full review of the platform, but I'll share some brief impressions here for you to consider. Tribel Social was definitely not for me. Only you can decide whether it might be right for you.

I took a look at Tribel despite several warnings about privacy and data misuse. It isn't for me, but not for these reasons. The main thing you need to know upfront is that the guy behind Occupy Democrats runs it. That was enough of a reason for me to move on, but you may differ. I associate Occupy Democrats with some of the worst the political left has to offer. If you like what they do, you might love Tribel.

So what is it? Tribel strikes me as a hybrid of Twitter and "the Facebook." Like Facebook, you have a "wall" where your posts live. And like Facebook, others can post on your wall unless you change your settings. When you post on Tribel, you select one of their topic categories to tell others what your post is about. You do this instead of using hashtags.

This system of categorizing posts leads us to one of the biggest potential appeals of Tribel. The following tabs run across the top of your home page: Friends, Following, Breaking, and Trending. You can add people you know in real life as "Friends" and follow people you don't know in real life. Few seem to grasp this, so you should expect friend requests from people you don't know. They are easy enough to decline.

Within each tab, you can filter the content you see by the post topics that reflect your interests. That is, you can personalize your feeds to show what you are most interested in. And yes, they have an "Atheism/Agnosticism" category. I can select "Following" and view what the people I'm following are saying about atheism. No photos of their goddamned food or cats, and no partisan political garbage.

Sounds great, doesn't it? There are two problems. The first is that the interface is quite buggy. The first time you select any of your tabs, it ignores your feed personalization. You have to reload the page for your personalization to start working. This is a minor issue because it does then work. The second problem is that the "Atheism/Agnosticism" category is 99.5% memes. If you like that sort of thing, you might love Tribel. It was a deal breaker for me because there is no mute function. My only options were to remove the Atheism/Agnosticism category or block everybody who only share memes.

If you venture outside of your efforts to personalize your feed, you'll find more memes. These will be angry political memes with lots of name-calling. Despite efforts to market Tribel as "the kinder, smarter social network," I saw no evidence of this.

Tribel isn't for me, but it might be for you. If you prefer memes over meaningful content, you may enjoy it. If you are a progressive Democrat who wants everything to skew far-left, you should check it out. If you want to see more Republican bashing, try Tribel. In short, if you are a fan of Occupy Democrats, you may like Tribel.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash