When I first heard about Gab, I immediately thought of Ello, the social network which was once proclaimed by the Internet as the “the Facebook killer” but turned out to evolve as a place for creators so, I wanted to see for myself just how far Gab’s free speech mantra went to.
Your 1st gab
Once logged in, you can create a Gab up to 300 characters, include GIFs (powered by Giphy), use hashtags and user mentions. Since Gab is still in private beta, Andrew Torba (Gab co-founder & CEO) said an image integration feature is also on the way.
Trending hashtags, gab feeds
The social network has a left dedicated column specifically for trending hashtags where users can choose to engage with the most popular debated topics by replying or reposting, upvoting or downvoting.
A top section feature called “Pulse” allows users to see a feed of gabs from other users they follow and their engagements with other people that otherwise they might’ve not known so it acts like a people discovering feature too.
The other top section feature called “Popular” will display the most top ranked gabs in the last 48h, splitted into “Today” and “Yesterday” sections. Notice, there’s a a right column which acts like a suggestion tool for which users to follow.
But, what grabbed my attention in Gab is the “Feed filter settings” feature located under the “Trending hashtags” section, a feature which seemed to me a bit intriguing. It allows users to mute other users without them being notified but also mute specific words. And all of this muted users and content will appear in the top section called “Spam”. The co-founders claim this feature was created to not encourage harassment and other types of online dangers.
Gab as a combination between Reddit, Imzy and Twitter
So, while Gab starts as the free speech social network and it can still offer its users the control to curate content and get a more accurate and clean feed via its filter settings and well defined guidelines.
Which makes me think Gab might have a little bit of Imzy (the web cosy place that aims to bring people together by having their opinions heard and helping each other), Reddit (“the front page of the internet” which at some point allowed users to act freely but maybe too freely since there were reported harassment and evil intended user comments) and Twitter (both design and a little bit of functionality).
It would be interesting to see how the social network will evolve, especially if the co-founders will make it public. And, if you had a change to try Gab, I’d be more than glad to hear what are your thoughts about it in the comments section.