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Qdos and Unii - Facebook's new rivals?


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How many of you reading this have checked your Facebook feed ten times in the past minute and thought: Facebook has lost its flare? Maybe you’re one of the unlucky ones that has your parents viewing your pages just as many times? Maybe you think Facebook has nothing to offer other than you looking other people’s profiles.

Two new social networking websites are about to hit our laptop screens. is strictly for students and the other,, is for those who want to escape the endless bombarding of news feed adverts. aims to challenge Facebook by providing what they think will be a credible competitor, and they are looking for 500 founding student members.  All you have to do is sign up at If you are selected you will be in the company of celebrity and media testers in the ‘Qdosphere.’

Qdos say their website will be free from advertisements, games and applications that they have this over their rivals from the start (not too sure about the no games rule...) Ads and apps are replaced for Qpoints, which is a point-based system that allows users to redeem offers on QLife and Qchat live, and free Qbox, which give users the option to share files between friends.

Tim Orrell thinks this is what will give them the edge on Zuckerburg: “Our new Qdos social network will be the antidote to the tired and increasingly advertising driven Facebook in the UK,” he says.

“Built and developed by a British team, we know what continues to turn people off Facebook - advertising, privacy issues and even having to pay to contact someone!

“Our aim is to build a British owned social network that understands the needs of the student community; is just the start of something amazing. will give free access to an innovative social network, where you are in control. Unlike other networks we promise to protect your personal information and let you decide who views your online profile.”

The good people at Qdos seem to understand students. They are running a competition to celebrate their opening that will see them pay for tuition fees for the duration of an undergraduate degree and free university accommodation for one lucky UK and two international students. To enter click here

Another potential challenger to Facebook is, designed strictly for students - all you need to sign up is a university email address. The website was set up after a survey of 1,000 UK parents showed that 50% of those who had spied on their children via Facebook had regretted their actions after seeing swearing, drunkenness and nudity (amongst other things).

Thankfully there is an escape for students at, where you can drunken update, swear and take as many inebriated pictures as you like (not that we at TNS promote this behaviour.)

Maybe you don’t use your social pages to post your weekend antics, but rather you use it to make new friends, help organise your university life or look for jobs? have that covered too. The new website offers student a comprehensive job board where users can find that vital first placement before university becomes a memory. The people at Unii say: “University is a place where students experiment responsibly, make new friends and find their feet, so we’ve developed a social network that allows them to do just that solely amongst their peers. What happens at uni, can now stay at uni.”

However, it is easy to forget that Facebook started off just like these two sites. It was set up exclusively for Harvard students, with no ads and no plans to be the next big thing. When the website got popular it expanded to other colleges, and then went public. It was at this point in Facebook’s history advertisements become a part of the site - the website needed funding to expand. In the past year Facebook has been a public company, floating on the stock market with an IPO. 

It is important to note that these are the pitfalls that may face Qdos and Unii. If either website is successful they are likely to face the same questions about growth as Facebook – they are at risk of losing touch with why they began, allowing advertisements or opening up to other people.

Being an exclusive site for just students, it is possible that Unii will be a flavour of the month site.  After students sign up and talk to other students they can easily add them on Facebook or meet up with them in person. Let’s be honest: do we really need another social networking site just full of our classmates when we already have them on Facebook?

It's also worth bringing up the question – is social networking dead?  Do people really add each other on Facebook anymore, over swapping numbers? Is the novelty of talking to people online done? In my case, and I assume many other university students', social networking sites are used to keep in contact with people back home - providing I don’t have their number – rather than people I’m at university with.

So, will Unii or Qdos really be the ones to take on Facebook? Only time will tell.

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