If you’re getting bored dedicating your online social time to Facebook , Twitter or Google+ check out some alternative social sites that are sure to pique your interest.
The upstart which raised $37m in funding last year lets users "pin" items that are interesting to them. The site is visually stimulating as the pinned items are in the form of photography or graphics. Other users can comment or like items that are pinned to boards.
The site has seen a quick and steady surge of traffic and mentions in social circles. The site began at the end of 2009 and was named among the 50 best websites of 2011 by Time Magazine.
Users can create themed image boards and can add items to their own board found online using the "Pin It" button. The Pins that users share show up on a Pin Feed on the home page. The pins can be divided into discussions, pictures, videos and even gifts that are sectioned into price ranges from $1 to more than $500. Pictures can be divided into subcategories of topics on the invitation-only site like gardening, kids, women's apparel, men's apparel, technology, sports, photography, weddings, film, education, music, and fitness.
Live Journal, which has been around since 1999, allows users to make journal entries on its own web page. Each user has a friends list which collects journal entries from the people on the user's friends list. Live Journal users also have a User Info page which show contact information, biography, interests, communities, schools attended and images. LiveJournal offers to its paid users the "voice posts" feature where a user can call into the system and record an entry. Users can also create their own communities on LiveJournal, similar to Facebook interest groups.
Founded in 2004, Tagged has many of the basic functions that Facebook offers. Users can customize their profile page, post status updates, tell friends their locations and actions, send and receive messages, as well as upload photos and albums. The social network site has a feature which allows other users to see who recently viewed their profile, similar to that of Linkedin. The site also has chat rooms where users are able to engage with one another in real time.
Hi5 was founded in 2003 and currently boasts availability in 50 different languages. The site has allows users to upload and share photos, join groups, as well as post and receive status updates. The site shifted its focus to social gaming in early 2011 and according to comScore has become the 6th most popular gaming site.
The network also allows users to set up a music player in their profile similar to Myspace. The friending method of Hi5 has similarities to Linkedin listing friends as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree. Friends that a user has directly accepted are labelled as 1st degree.
Yammer is a social network that is geared towards enterprises. It's a great social platform for businesses that prefer employees not to be on Facebook during work. Employees can interact socially while doing work at the same time.
The network was founded in 2008 and allows users in the same company to communicate as well as share files, pictures, and documents. Users can be part of a group within the site and can even invite external partners to join their network. The platform has similar features to Facebook and Twitter like @ replies, news feeds, threaded conversations and direct messaging.
Tumblr is a social networking site with a microblogging platform. Users can post photos and multimedia to a short blog called a "tumblelog." Tumblr users can also follow other users' blogs. The site gives users the capability to make their blog private or public. The site was launched in 2007 and as in February 2012 had over 46.2 million blogs.
Highlight has taken the Check-in features offered by Facebook and Foursquare to a whole new level. The social mobile application, launched in January 2012 sends push notifications to users when their friends are within a few blocks of them. The app's home screen also shows a reverse chronological record of paths crossed with Facebook friends or those with common interests.
Users can click on another users' profile to see information, interests, and mutual friends as well as Highlight status updates. There is also a message feature to help organise meeting up with friends or those with common interests nearby. A Highlight user can turn off their radar until they want to use the application again if they do not want share their location.
Launched in 2005, Ning is a community building platform specifically helps individuals and organisations create customised social networks. The site offers features such as; photos, videos, forums and blogs along with Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo! integration.
As of June 2011 the social site had 65 million unique monthly visitors. Users can make their specific social site private and public and own all of their content and member data. A social site through the platform can also be made accessible on any mobile device. Community members can interact by commenting on blogs as well as posting videos and photos.Ning offers 3 plans for its customers: Mini, Plus, and Pro. The prices vary from £2.95 - £39.95 depending on the extent of features desired.
StumbleUpon was founded in November 2001 and creates "virtual communities" for web users with different interests.
StumbleUpon allows users to rate websites which updates to their personal profile in a blog-styled record. The site coordinates and encourages the distribution of content found on the web so pages that users may "stumble on" can be shared with friends and networks.
The word-of-mouth styled website allows a user to rate a website by giving it a thumbs up, or thumbs down that appear on the user's blog. Ratings can be divided into personal interest sections on their blog like "technology" or "photography."
The My Opera community was started in 2001 as a support site for its browser. It also has an email service using its FastMail.FM email platform. In 2005 Opera Software added social features which allow users to create customised groups, photo albums, and blogs. The site also offers its users 300MB of free storage space as well as a free email address.
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