A new social network has been launched, this time one that has several similarities with Facebook, but is dedicated to people seeking the truth about Catholicism. This social network addresses the critical mass of Catholic people and it is called Aleteia.org, a name inspired by the Greek word for truth.
“More than a thousand partners have already joined and many more are expressing their support,” declared Jesus Colina, the Spanish journalist, president of the new venture.
The platform, AdEthic, is currently available in six languages – Italian, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic – and has a staff of 45 with offices in Rome, Washington and Paris. Aletheia.org invites people to “Seek the truth: Ask your own question” and share their stories and click on a fish – traditional Christian symbol – which functions quite similarly to the “Like” button from Facebook. The platform and the social network are run by Andrea Salvati, former Google Italy manager.
“Today there are 55 million searches every month for the English word ‘God,'” Colina stated in an interview with Vatican Radio. “But what do people find? Catholic sites are not well represented. We want the pearls that Catholic sites generate every day to appear in the top positions on Google and other search engines.”
The initiative is backed by the Foundation for Evangelization through the Media, and supported by the Vatican departments responsible for “new evangelization” and social media.
Part of the adverting revenue will be directed to charitable causes. The initiators of this social network consider that they should have advertising, as “In this case it really is unity that gives strength: where there is unity there is critical mass, there is an audience to be exploited and there is negotiating power that we can bring to the table with all the networks that distribute online advertising,” Salvati stated.
As Catholics come in large numbers and are spread across countries around the world, the initiative of a social network specifically targeting them and those interested in the Christian religion has high chances of success. It remains to be seen how many of them are interested in a dedicated social media network based solely on religious views, and how this new venture will be promoted and will further develop to meet target’s expectations.