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Young users are supposedly flocking away from Facebook, Twitter’s shares have hit an all-time low and Google Plus has transformed into a zombie, so where on earth can people turn to get there fix of social updates? Check out these six social networks that you need to be using.
First of all, don’t panic. These sites are still going from strength to strength (for now); but it’s still important to remember that these (alongside LinkedIn) aren’t the be all and end all of networking. There are plenty of other social platforms available which are poised, ready and waiting to burst into the public eye.
Let’s take a look at six of the best but almost unheard of social networks, either in app or online website form:
One of the main problems with Facebook (other than those pesky baby pictures and ‘like farms’) is the fact that after a while you’ll end up having added many people who you don’t actually know. Within a couple of months you can quickly amass a number of so-called friends, who in real life you actually have no relevant link to whatsoever.
Path aims to end all that, by quite refreshingly putting a restraint on the number of friends it allows you to connect with. You can only communicate with, and send pictures to, 150 contacts.
Whilst at first this may seem like a negative, if you can name me over 150 people that you genuinely interact with on a daily basis then I’d recommend taking a break. It’s this small selection, coupled with an intuitive and eye-pleasing UI, that makes Path feel like a truly personal social network.
Did you know that Facebook currently drives 60% of social commerce, and Pinterest only drives 15%? (Source: RichRelevance). What if I told you that as of the fourth quarter last year, a practically unheard of social network called Polyvore was responsible for 20% of social shopping online? Have I got your attention now?
Essentially a product-based-Pinterest, Polyvore focuses on helping shoppers discover and purchase new styles, with a particular focus on fashion. The visual service is being billed as an ecommerce disruptor, and for good reason too. It has a higher conversion rate than both Pinterest and Twitter, and drives a higher average order value (AOV) per session than Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest combined. In fact, with an AOV of $383.34, it manages to push conversions at 2.6 times higher than non-social spending sessions (Source: RichRelevance). That’s 383.34 reasons why your business should be using Polyvore.
What’s the biggest problem with most online social networks? They keep you wrapped up on the Internet, and don’t give you enough time to interact with your actual friends offline. This is where Nextt comes in. Whilst platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to share events and images from the past, this app allows you to plan ahead for the future.
We’re not talking the jetpacks and hoverboards future here, instead Nextt allows you to collect together all your favourite friends in one handy place and effortlessly organise and put into motion ideas for upcoming gatherings over the next few months.
It’s not about likes or retweets for users either; you actually receive usable data from your interactions on Nextt, learning how well received your proposals are, what your friends think about your suggestions, and what the people around you actually want to do. It’s a great way to actually get to know those you interact with, both online and off.
Have you ever wished local search could be slightly more social? Highlight draws in data from others using the same network and feeds you information about those around you. If a friend is nearby, this’ll let you know. If someone of note is passing you in the street, Highlight will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about them.
It may sound slightly creepy, but it’s obviously up to you what amount of data you allow the app to share with others. By sharing photos, interests and mutual friends, you can easily discover common ground with everyone in your area. Highlight is essentially people watching 2.0, giving you a more complete, if not borderline intrusive, view of the world directly around you.
Question and answer networks are all the rage these days, Quora, Jelly, even Reddit and Twitter are often used for their accessible interview-like properties. Need takes this to the next level, allowing you to directly ask your friends what you need and where you need it. By keeping all your questions, solutions and interactions in one place, this app becomes an invaluable resource in your quest for discovery.
It also allows you to post interesting products or places that you feel might be of help to someone else, thus building an incredibly social database of the world around you.
This app has caused quite a stir in Silicon Valley, and has just recently been released over here in the UK (and although it’s currently iOS only, there is an Android version on the way).
It’s essentially a visual confessions app, allowing users to anonymously post and comment on their inner most thoughts, as well as gossip, secrets and goings on from around their area.
Here’s the catch, you won’t be able to use it properly until you follow three friends or more, so unless you’re incredibly obvious, your friends will never be able to tell it’s you that’s posting. Due to its completely anonymous nature, and it’s reassuring Community Guide, Secret is fast becoming the ideal communication app, allowing you to share your everyday thoughts and feelings in a safe, judgement free zone.
The reason this app wasn’t included in the official list is because anyone with a mildly vested interest in location-based app Foursquare would of heard of the new “social heat map” app, Swarm, by now. Essentially, Foursquare has split itself into two apps, with the titular app now focusing on discovering your local area through recommendations; whilst Swarm becomes a localised IM, allowing you to message any friends in your proximity.
This is a massive overhaul for the popular app, with the (in)famous ‘Check-in’ button being removed altogether in favour of social interactions. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.
Let me know if you’ve been able to try any of the sites featured in this list, or if you’ve got your own favourite social network that no one else knows about in the comments section below.
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Secret Social Media via BigStock
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