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This new startup wants to be your escape from the noise of Twitter and Facebook

Raftr, founded by former Yahoo president Sue Decker, is designed to be civil and sane.

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Today, the phrase “social media” is often used to refer to a small number of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. But Raftr, a new startup recently launched by former Yahoo president Sue Decker, is betting that you’re sick of all those sites.

Decker and one of Raftr’s investors, Harrison Metal founder Michael Dearing, explained on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher that Raftr encourages you to follow topics rather than people and is designed to discourage abuse and self-promotional noise. For example, user accounts are tied to phone numbers, rather than email addresses, making it harder to register multiple times as one can today on other platforms.

“I think I follow 800 people on Twitter,” Dearing said. “That’s like 800 megaphones. That’s not 800 conversations.”

“Using Raftr is like going to a really great dinner party where there’s little rooms talking about different topics and you can move from room to room, but you know that if you go into the ‘White House discussion room,’ there’s going to be some people who take this seriously and want to hear from others,” he added. “It’s not a shouting fest, it’s not megaphones. It’s a conversation.”


Decker said the success of sites like Slack and Nextdoor has demonstrated that Facebook and Twitter are not the end-all be-all of social media and says Raftr will give people the opportunity to find new like-minded friends.

“They typically start more general and then more specific ones crop up, to address a specific interest,” Decker said of social networks. “Once the more general ones get so broad, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for.”

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