Unthink was a social network website launched in October 2011 that aimed to challenge Facebook. The site began beta testing on October 26, 2011. Users of the website could choose to pay a fee for its service or opt into an advertising feature. The feature allowed users to pick a business that they endorsed to sponsor their page. Another way that the site sought to distinguish itself from Facebook was by attempting to provide users with easy control of their privacy. The site also offered users separate profile sections for personal and business communication.
The site was conceived by Natasha Dedis, who served as CEO. After her son mentioned his intention to join Facebook, Dedis read the site's terms of service. She was disappointed by the terms, which she later characterized as "oppressive". She began working on the site in 2008 and gained momentum in 2011 during the Occupy Wall Street movement. Unthink received $2.59 million in funding from, the then in operation, DouglasBay Capital. At the time that beta testing launched the site had ten employees. Shortly after its launch the site was temporarily brought down due to heavy traffic. Unthink planned to launch a mobile version of the site in January 2012.
Unthink's marketing had focused on its differences from Facebook, even billing itself as the "anti-Facebook". In particular, they emphasize the fact that users own the information that they contribute to the site and that a different advertising model was utilized. Users could, however, export their information from Facebook to Unthink. Unthink's marketing had also emphasized a "social revolution" and the site's "wild and free" qualities, while using images from the Civil Rights Movement. One commercial for Unthink features an actress accosting a man who resembles Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Its criticism of established companies has been compared to the Occupy Wall Street movement by Doug Gross of CNN. Gross noted, however, that larger and better funded ventures, such as Google Plus, have struggled to draw users away from Facebook. Christopher Barger speculated on Forbes.com that Unthink and other new social networks may encounter difficulties drawing users because consumers "may have reached a saturation point with social networking".
Amber MacArthur was critical of the site's beta interface after she registered a profile. Though she praised their initial marketing campaign, she noted that the site's design is not as "clean" as Google Plus and that it more closely resembled MySpace. She also complained of the difficulty of importing contacts from an address book to Unthink.
As of February 07 2013, Unthink's social platform is no longer active.
- Gross, Dough (October 9, 2012). "Unthink unlives". theNextWeb.com. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Gross, Dough (2011-10-26). "Upstart Unthink wanted to become the new anti-Facebook". CNN.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- Poeter, Damon (October 26, 2011). "Social Networking Startup Unthink Aims to Topple Facebook". PCMag.com. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Perez, Sarah (October 25, 2011). "Anti-Facebook Social Network 'Unthink' Launches to Public". Foxbusiness.com/Techcrunch. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- CBS News Staff (October 26, 2011). "Upthink (sic) to Facebook, Google: "It's FU time"". CBS News. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- McLaughlin, Brendan (October 28, 2011). "Facebook faces a Bay Area based challenger for social media dominance". WFTS. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Allan, Darren (November 1, 2011). "Unthink anti-Facebook site launches". TechWatch. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- Flock, Elizabeth (October 27, 2011). "NextDoor and UnThink: Two upstart social networks you may want to get to know". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Barger, Christopher (December 20, 2011). "The Top Ten Social Media Lessons of 2011: Part I". Forbes.com. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- MacArthur, Amber (November 1, 2011). "Shouldn’t ‘UNTHINK’ be a more intuitive social network?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 1, 2011.