For millions of people, Facebook replaced MySpace years ago. But what comes next?
While people ponder over whether they should delete Facebook in light of the Cambridge Analytica debacle, a competition called the OpenBook Challenge wants entrants to create a successor for the beleaguered social network.
As per its website, the OpenBook Challenge claims to be "not an idea or business plan competition," but rather a contest which will fund teams based on their "ability to execute," with privacy at the forefront.
"We are looking to fund seven purpose-driven teams that want to build a billion-user social network to replace Facebook — while protecting consumer privacy," according to the competition's explainer.
"We want to invest in replacements that don’t manipulate people and that protect our democracy from bad actors looking to spread misinformation."
The competition is being funded by tech investor and Weblogs Inc. co-founder Jason Calacanis, who said he'd give $100,000 to seven teams and host them for a 12-week incubator.
Calacanis has been a vocal critic of Facebook, criticising the company on CNBC for its "complete and utter failure of leadership" amid the privacy scandal, though admitting people loved the product, including Instagram, and that both networks are ingrained in people's lives.
Notably, Calacanis did say it'd be a good opportunity for an entrepreneur to "come in and create a competitor," of which there have been many that have come, tried, and failed to topple Facebook.
A relaunched MySpace couldn't bring people back. Google tried for so very long. Ello, a minimalist social network that received a flurry of signups in 2014, is now more of a Pinterest-style site for sharing art and photography.
In the haze of Facebook's woes, there is perhaps a small glimmer of opportunity for something new. Of course, let's just see how that idea scales.