A Gen Z'er Has Created 'Noplace,' An App For Young People Fed Up With Social Media That Has No Algorithms & A 380K Person Waitlist

If you've ever wished social media could go back to the simplicity of the 2000s, look no further.

Gen Z create new style social media app, Nospace View Apart, annetdebar | Canva, Nospace | App Store

As social media continues to swallow up more and more of our lives and become ever more noisy, it's not exactly surprising that many of us old enough to remember a world without it are feeling the urge to step back from our phones — if not delete our accounts entirely.

But nowadays, it seems that even many of those who've never quite known a world before the internet are getting fed up, too, so much so that one pioneering 20-something created an alternative straight out of the internet halcyon days of the 2000s.


A Gen Z'er has made Noplace, a MySpace-style app for those fed up with social media.

Ah yes, MySpace — those were the days! When social media was actually social, instead of just a mechanism for invading our privacy to sell ads or polarize us politically.

There's been lots of nostalgia for the simplicity and innocence of MySpace, which was many millennials' first introduction to the social aspects of the internet. Especially in recent years, since algorithms have completely taken over, the good old days of MySpace feel like a lost utopia.


Noplace (originally called Nospace) aims to answer that call by turning back the internet clock to circa 2005 with an app that focuses on meaningful expression and connection, not algorithmic melodrama.

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So, has MySpace's Tom Anderson come back into the fold? Nope. He's still a retired multi-gazillionaire living his life. (At least presumably, since he sort of… disappeared in 2009. But that's a whole other subject.)


Noplace is the brainchild of 27-year-old Gen Z tech entrepreneur Tiffany Zhong — and to say her app is in hot demand is a major understatement.

Noplace's platform has no algorithms, several MySpace-style features, and a waitlist of 380,000.

“What I see right now is all social media is just media — it’s not social anymore," Zhong told Bustle in a recent interview.

She taps into perhaps the greatest frustration with social media nowadays, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where people's personal connections have all but disappeared in favor of algorithm-chosen content and ads that clog up our feeds.

Zhong spent the past 10 years — starting while she was still a teenager — observing social media, the ways people use it, and how they feel about it in order to come up with a solution.


Noplace features the personalized profile pages we all had on MySpace and early Facebook, along with a stream of status updates — again, just like back in the day — about what band you're listening to, what book you're obsessed with, the amazing taco you had for lunch, whatever.

“That’s the problem we’re solving," Zhong told Bustle. "Connection with others and self-expression."

There's even a ranked list of your closest friends, just like MySpace's often drama-inducing Top 8. (But at least MySpace drama was relatively innocent compared to the vitriol that ensues on today's platforms.)


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Noplace's lack of algorithms also means it lacks the influencer-led dynamics of today's networks.

If you're the type of person who yells "OH SHUT THE [EXPLETIVE] UP" at your phone every time a Kardashian pops up on it (no? Just me?), Noplace is almost tailor-made for your sensibilities.

As Zhong explained, "a lot of posts just get pushed down if you don’t get engagement," and Noplace's equivalent of the "like" button, called a "boost," is simply for fun rather than controlling whether a post is seen. "Everyone can feel special," Zhong said.

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But if you do want to expand beyond your circle, Noplace has that functionality, too. But Zhong said venturing outside your circle is more like a "global groupchat" of people with similar interests rather than a firehose-like feed of content mostly from people you want nothing to do with (looking at you, Twitter — er, sorry, "X").

Noplace's creator said she hopes it will help with the mental health and loneliness problems related to social media.

Unless you live in a cave, you've probably heard all about the myriad ways social media is damaging our mental health and exacerbating issues like the loneliness epidemic.

Researchers like NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt have sounded alarms about the terrifying correlation, beginning around 2010, between skyrocketing increases in mental illness and the round-the-clock access to social media that came with the advent of the smartphone.


These rises have been particularly pronounced among children and teens, including rates of suicide for those ages 10-19 that rose 48% in the 2010s and a staggering 131% for girls 10-14.

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Meanwhile, loneliness and friendlessness have reached shocking levels, too—recent studies have shown that nearly half of us don't have someone we call a "best friend," down from 75% of us in 1990.

Zhong is among those who think social media is partly to blame for this because of the way it has fragmented and individualized everything we view, consume, and care about. "We don’t have as much to talk about with our IRL friends anymore because everyone watches different content," Zhong said by way of an example.


She hopes Noplace will help combat that by making social media about commonality instead of pitting us against each other for lucrative clicks. Personally, this writer is skeptical about how long that altruistic approach can last once the need to turn a profit kicks in (look what happened to Facebook).

But I'd sure love to be proven wrong. As much as the Zuckerbergs and Musks of the world have destroyed the apps we already have, Noplace seems like exactly the right app at exactly the right time to try to do it.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.