Social networking features: comparing PoP with Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg and Medium

The PoP framework has been inspired by many of the most successful social networks out there, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg and Medium. Indeed, PoP has implemented a great many of the worthy social-networking features from these other websites.

PoP aims to create a decentralized social network, composed by many small niche social networks, which can bundled together by providing their data to a PoP aggregator. The PoP aggregator, by fetching content in real time from the different social networks, each one of them dealing with a different topic (such as economics, politics, sports, lifestyle, etc), can indeed become a Facebook of sorts, allowing users from each social network to interact with the other websites’ users, yet enabling each website to own its own data.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of these social networking features, and how they compare to the other websites’ implementations.



News Feed vs PoP’s content feed
Facebook’s News Feed is the constantly updating list of user-personalized stories which shows up in the home page. News Feed includes status updates, photos, videos, links, app activity and likes from people, Pages and groups that the user follows on Facebook.

PoP’s content feed is not user-personalized. Instead, it shows all content in the website, initially ordered by newest to oldest: quick posts, articles, announcements, stories, projects, events, etc. A powerful filter is provided so the user can select content based on his/her own criteria. There is no algorithm selecting what items to show or not.

Facebook groups vs PoP communities
Facebook groups help gather with friends around common interests; within groups, the user can share updates, photos, documents and more under specific settings of their choosing.

PoP communities are a representation of the users’ membership to organizations. Organizations can accept members in PoP, thus representing a community. The organization’s profile page will display all members’ content in addition of its own (eg: a university’s profile page will display its own content plus content posted by its students).

Facebook Like vs PoP recommendations
The general functionality is the same. However, PoP recommendations do not alter the visibility of the post, since we do not employ any post-ranking algorithm, it is for displaying purposes mainly.

Similar to Facebook, PoP implements real time notifications, informing users of any activity related to them (eg: a comment added to the user’s article, the user having a new follower, etc), and any activity by users belonging to their network. In PoP, a user’s network is composed by: followed users + users who are members of the same organizations.



Similar to Twitter, PoP allows users to follow other users. Because all content in the website is already public, following users is mainly useful to receive notifications following their activity.

@Mentions, #Hashtags and Real time updates
All these 3 features were copied from Twitter into PoP as they are. In PoP, when creating a post or adding a comment, the user can @mention other users and add #hashtags. In addition, when a new post is created, all users concurrently browsing the website, either logged in or not, will receive an update that there is a new post.



Submitting links
Submitting a link to Reddit is very easy: the user writes the title of the post, pastes the URL and chooses the subreddit it will appear in.

For PoP, it is also very simple, however there are 2 differences:

  • Instead of a subreddit, what must be chosen is what type of link it is: article, announcement, event, etc
  • Appropriate metadata can be added for the link type. Eg: for an event, the user must specify the date and location.

Voting system
Reddit allows users to upvote and downvote items to help determine their rank in the website.

In PoP, users can upvote and downvote “Extracts of important information” and “Votes” (votes are currently only implemented in TPP Debate). Comments are not votable yet, however we plan to add this feature in the future. The voting data does not feed any post-ranking algorithm, it is for displaying purposes mainly.



Content moderated by publishers vs content provided by PoP platforms
Digg does content curation. Its editorial team filters out content, leading their users to those posts worth reading from selected Internet sources.

A PoP website, because it can be fed data from multiple data sources, also allows for content curation, however it shifts where the curation takes place, from the aggregator to the aggregated platform. A PoP aggregator can receive content curated by its partners/aggregated websites, based on some understanding on what content to provide, such as: “provide me your best/most popular post of the day”, “your posts related to the presidential elections”, etc.



Replying to a post with another post
In Medium, responses function like stories: they have their own page and can be recommended or responded to, just like stories.

Similarly, in PoP any post can be replied to with another post, which can be recommended or responded to, and these posts will be interlinked together.

On Medium, users can highlight a word, passage, or paragraph of the story simply swiping the cursor over it.

In PoP, users can extract “Extracts of important information”, which is basically a copy/paste of the most important bits of information from the post. These extracts will show up in PoP’s content feed in the homepage, providing other users with the gist of the post.

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