Not everything is happening on Facebook and Twitter.
The social media landscape is a fluid and ever-changing one in which new brands appear constantly, and existing sites find themselves becoming increasingly unfashionable. Despite remaining the undisputed forefathers of social media, Facebook and Twitter are generally considered passé in 2016; even Instagram and Snapchat are commonly seen to be approaching the maturity stage of their product lifecycles.
In their place, new generations of social media services are attempting to develop new niches and break away from the one-platform-to-rule-them-all approach of market leaders. Below are five services that are on the cusp of mainstream acceptance, yet still offer early adopters the chance to claim they were ‘into it’ before any of their peers:
Despite sounding like a popular chocolate bar, great things are expected of Yik Yak. Its hyper-local interface allows people to share thoughts and communicate with nearby users, which explains its soaring popularity on further education campuses. This also enables regular travelers to get ‘the vibe’ in forthcoming destinations, with interesting posts voted to the top of user feeds.
Another example of micro-local social media, iOS-exclusive app Hyper uses photo geotagging to allow neighbors and members of local communities to discover each other via shared interests. Hyper also features a version of the post voting system outlined for Yik Yak, although this particular platform enables users to retain their anonymity as they post. The potential for abuse and trolling is consequently heightened, but so is the ability to make frank confessions and discover people experiencing the same issues or worries.
A retail-oriented app that currently features millions of products from big-brand manufacturers and independent sellers alike. Wanelo’s name is an amalgam of the words want, need and love, and it’s firmly aimed at a younger female audience. Like Pinterest, it’s possible to see items friends have selected, and to create a wish list. Growing numbers of retail websites are introducing the colored tiles logo that indicates prospective purchasers can store details of anything from promise rings to glass pipes.
Despite a rather unimaginative name, web-based platform This majors on simplicity by avoiding the clickbait content and narcissistic status updates of other social media sites. More of a Twitter than a Facebook, users can only add one link per day to ensure pertinence, and to maximize the usefulness of shared content. This inevitably deters the social junkies who feel compelled to share every facet of their lives online, but This does also have the potential to become a useful informational resource as its profile increases.
While the platforms above have a specific focus and target audience, Ello is much more rounded. It offers similar functionality to Facebook, through everything from audio-visual content to lengthy blog posts and new connections. Its USP is that Ello is anti-corporate – there are no targeted cookie ads, and client data will never be sold to third parties. Despite this well-timed acknowledgement of privacy concerns, Ello is unlikely to match the runaway success of the platform it loves to hate, and its Android version is still being beta-tested.
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