Given the uncertainty surrounding Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, users are searching for an alternative social media platform. Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attempted to quell the worry during his testimony to Congress, many users still remain unconvinced of Facebook’s sincerity and commitment to user data privacy. If you’re searching for a Facebook replacement, Garden might offer exactly what you’re looking for.
Downloadable on iOS, Garden is similar to Facebook in that it is a completely free social media platform that strives to connect you with your loved ones. However, Garden strives to achieve this mission through a more active interface; users utilize a reminder tool in the app that alerts you when it is time to reach out to your friends. This feature can be manually set to remind you as often or as infrequently as you want.
According to Garden’s designer Zander Adell, this feature was implemented because “maintaining a real personal or business relationship that adds value and meaning to your life takes regular and substantive effort.” This thought process also was behind the name Garden: “Just like you can’t expect the plants in a garden to stay healthy without regularly watering them, you shouldn’t expect your relationships to thrive without putting in the time.” Just as Facebook helps remind users of their friends’ birthdays or big events, Garden’s reminder tool should help users maintain stronger relationships with their friends.
At the moment, the app is free and does not display ads. Other than requesting access to your contact list to set reminders and notes, it does not obtain other data nor does it send notifications to your friends.