Alternatives to Fomo

there are 2 types of Fomo:

  1. the concept, Fear of Missing Out
  2. the company, that's us

the alternative to #1 is "JOMO," or joy of missing out.

this describes my life actually. two months ago i ended my apartment lease in New York City and booked a 1-way ticket across the globe.

all my friends? gone. favorite hangout spots? poof. yet i'm at peace with missing out.

but that's not the kind of Fomo alternative we're talking about today.

Social Proof Notifications Are Ubiquitous

we spent 3 years thinking about how, when, and if to dignify our competitors.

not because they exist - all growing markets become saturated. but because many of them have stolen our intellectual property and lack original ideas.

one of these offenses is illegal, the other is even worse: it's uninspiring.

so today we're breaking our silence.

below are Fomo app alternatives. before i get into the details, a single rule:

enlightened buyers know a company is incapable of describing itself objectively. enlightened buyers independently analyze features relevant to their needs by reviewing multiple sources of information.

due to this conflict of interest, we're going to primarily shed light on the character of people behind these companies vs the products themselves. (or at least, my perception of their character. i'm open to being proven wrong.)

because how else, with 30+ options available, does one determine the best social proof app? it starts by getting to know the makers.

Fomo vs Fomo

a few months ago we committed to being more open, kicking off with an Open API and some public examination of our marketing copy to make it more honest.

sharing these metrics, tactics, and strategies could be dangerous. after all, if others are already copying what you're doing, should you be making it any easier?

i thought about this a lot. my conclusion: if you are copying someone else, you are already losing. market leaders are innovators.

with this in mind here are some cheap alternatives to Fomo, free alternatives to Fomo, and comparably priced social proof tools for you to consider.

Fomo vs Credible

i like this company.

the founder, Dallin, launched shortly after we did and has been transparent about his motivations from the start:

on more than 1 occasion we actually tried to acquire Credible. Dallin was smart and held out. he eventually sold to someone else, hopefully for much more than we offered.

Credible is the most respectable Fomo competitor out there.

if you're a) running on a tight budget, b) not sure if a social proof app is what you need, or c) don't want all the bells/whistles of Fomo, i recommend installing Credible on your Shopify store for just $9.99 /month.

Fomo vs Proof

never have i witnessed more drama in my life (save Real World: San Diego) as our company compared to Proof, a venture-backed startup based in Austin, Texas.

the mere presence of drama, or "tension" as the Suits would call it, demonstrates that competition in business is never just about a product or service.

there is also ego, personality, and a rumor mill grinding away while teams should be focused on the Main Thing -- their customers.

here's what that ego looks like in Austin, Texas.

operations

in August 2017 Proof plagiarized every single word of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. we paid lawyers serious, bootstrapped cash to commission those terms from scratch, so it was pretty annoying to see them get stolen.

following a DMCA Takedown notice to their hosting provider, Proof updated their terms to include new forged clauses from Samcart and other businesses.

product

Proof inserted a Fomo customer using our product in a marketing video that currently has 330,000 views on YouTube, and many more on Facebook Ads.

the CEO of Proof agreed to edit the video after our attorneys reached out, however this has not been done and the video is still live. see our product at the 0:37 mark.

marketing

one way companies grow is by advertising for relevant keywords. Proof made Ads for "usefomo.com" (our old domain) that looked like this:

the ad attempts to deceive potential Fomo customers into thinking Proof is Fomo.

to some this may appear "just" unethical. since we have a Fomo trademark it was also infringement, and again we had to incorporate legal help to resolve this anticompetitive behavior.

sidebar

social proof means it doesn't matter what you say about you, only what other people say about you.

trademarks notwithstanding, nobody selling social proof as a service should ever, ever, declare themselves #1 in an advertisement. it is the antithesis of social proof.

we even illustrated Sonny (above) more than 2 years ago to help people understand this simple point. i guess what my mom says is true: you can't fix stupid.

miscellaneous

i could list a handful of other unethical, shady, and desperate tactics Proof has used to grow in anticompetitive ways, but it's better if you ask them yourself.

reviews

maybe you're tired of all the drama i just shared. i am too, it's been 2+ years of this sh*t. so let's pivot to what actual customers have to say (source: Capterra).

in fairness Proof also has 151 reviews on Facebook.

Fomo has 190 reviews on Shopify, 17 reviews on BigCommerce, 4 reviews on G2 Crowd, and 2 reviews on the Infusionsoft Marketplace. both have been reviewed by bloggers and YouTubers.

pricing

since inception, Fomo has been expensive. obviously we think we're worth $1-2 /day for more conversions, but it bears mentioning.

our plans have increased from $11.99 (2015) to $14.99, then free for 6 months, then $19, $29, and now as much as > $1,000 /month with our starting plan at $39. each time we change prices we grandfather legacy users. it's the right thing to do.

Proof has similarly changed pricing several times and now ranges from $29 to $300+ paid monthly.

both companies offer annual discounts: Fomo annual plans include 3 months free, Proof plans include 2 months free.

both companies provide a 14 day free trial.

performance

again, the enlightened reader will make their own decisions on features. but for more data see our Social Proof Plugin Performance Benchmarks report.

this analysis compares Fomo with other social proof plugins to determine which is the fastest, smallest, and leanest in terms of JavaScript and HTTP performance.

if a competitor, Proof or otherwise, improves their code and sends us reliable performance metrics, we'll update the post. it's the right thing to do.

Fomo vs Sales Pop

Sales Pop is a ~free tool (see below) that is only available on Shopify.

Beeketing, the company behind Sales Pop, was recently suspended from the Shopify app store for making several egregious mistakes:

  • allowing customers to input fake data (illegal - false advertising)
  • charging customers "off platform" (not using the required Billing API)
  • requiring new signups to write a positive reviews before the app interface works(!)

these are just the highlights, you can read more on their official post or Facebook announcement.

by gamifying app store reviews Beeketing quickly gained top ranking for relevant keywords in the [unsophisticated] Shopify app store algorithm.

and Beeketing isn't the only company doing this, to be clear.

after Sales Pop was de-listed from the app store, several competitors piled on by renaming their app to "Sales Pop" to misrepresent themselves and deceive customers.

the Shopify App Store, for social proof solutions like ours, has become a frustrating experience for honest makers.

to Sales Pop and others like it: shame on you.

Fomo vs Everyone Else

over the last few years we acquired 2 competitors, Refurther and Conversion Booster. i wrote about those acquisitions here and here.

both products were similar to Credible or Sales Pop in terms of features and pricing.

what made them good targets for us were the customer contracts, and that each founding team had other projects needing more attention.

following each acquisition we were able to migrate every single customer, except maybe 2 or 3, to the Fomo platform with grandfathered pricing.

this means 100s of entrepreneurs using cheap Fomo alternatives were able to upgrade to Fomo in 1-2 clicks without downtime and without paying extra fees.

competition and M&A is great when it works this way:

  1. the market gets a product upgrade
  2. makers get paid for their work and clock a win
  3. the community grows and customers who share feature requests are heard, because there are more resources to support their realization

a handful of other companies like Fera, Holler Box, Provely, ProveSource (i know right), and WPFomo are also interesting to us from an acquisition perspective.

if they reach out and we make a deal, we'll announce here. it's the right thing to do.

how to choose a social proof solution

competition makes products better and [hopefully] customers happier. but it can also cause confusion when practiced unethically, and that's why we wrote this post.

i've said it many times on our blog, and i say it at the beginning of every sales call:

Fomo's vision is to give honest entrepreneurs the credibility they deserve.

if our competitors -- good ones like Credible, and even cheaters like Proof -- share this value in their own unique way, the market wins.

Elon Musk once said something to the effect of, "I don't care if {{ automotive_brand }} makes great electric cars... I just want them to exist."

we're trying hard to adopt that approach at Fomo, while also laying out the facts so you can make informed decisions.

now go, enlightened buyer, and take everything i just said with a grain of salt.