Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade it would be almost impossible not to have heard about social networking.
And it would have been almost as difficult not have opened a social network account.
Sure, there are some people who refuse to Facebook, who don’t share their images on Flickr or Instagram, and who just don’t ‘get’ Twitter, but it is a rare internet user that has not signed on and regularly use at least one of the dozens of social networks online and –
Dozens of social networks? Yes, that’s not a typo.
There is a wide world of social networking outside of the biggest mainstream social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Some are still relatively high profile (think LinkedIn) and some are incredibly broad churches (take reddit, for example) but they are real, they are large, they are social, and they are attracting hundreds of thousands of users and spawning millions of interactions every day in corners of the internet you may never have heard of.
Today we’re taking a look at ten social networks that you probably haven’t heard of. How can we be sure? Well in a very unscientific survey I ran the names of these social networks past our Community Manager at DOZ and asked her, have you ever heard of these? The answer was ‘no’ – well, she guessed at one but got it wrong – and this is a person who is switched on and active on Vine, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and many more.
That’s good enough for me – let’s see how many of these social networks you’ve heard of.
What is it: It’s Facebook, but for observant Muslims.
User base: 575,000 in 175 countries
What’s something special about it: It offers a 24/7 live stream of the Holy Kaba in Mecca.
Find it: http://www.mymfb.com/
What is it: It’s Twittery, but also Facebooky. Think of it as a cross between IM and a blog post.
User base: More than a million daily users
What’s something special about it: According to its about page, the ‘lurks’ that people post are “low in fat, 5 calories per serving, yet chock full of goodness”.
Find it: http://www.plurk.com/top/
What is it: A social network allowing users to share everything from text updates to photos and videos, and virtual gifts.
User base: 300 million registered users
What’s something special about it: Time magazine once infamously labelled it the world’s most annoying website, but it has been profitable since 2008 – something many social networks have struggled with.
Find it: http://www.tagged.com/
What is it: Think LinkedIn but for the German speaking community.
User base: 14 million members, mainly in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
What’s something special about it: Premium membership is about a quarter of the price of rival LinkedIn at less than $10 a month.
Find it: https://www.xing.com/
What is it: An online community for the gothic industrial subculture.
User base: Unknown, but their Facebook fan page has more than 250,000 fans.
What’s something special about it: The network includes a store that sells everything from t-shirtss and hoodies to gothic homewares.
Find it: http://www.vampirefreaks.com/
What is it: A US-centric social network for medical professionals.
User base: More than 50% of US physicians are members – that’s at least 500,000 members.
What’s something special about it: Doximity has more physician members than the American Medical Association.
Find it: https://www.doximity.com/
What is it: A social networking service for African-Americans.
User base: About 20 million.
What’s something special about it: As well as social networking, sharing, and discussion boards, BlackPlanet has matchmaking and job boards.
Find it: http://www.blackplanet.com/
What is it: It’s social networking for Iranians who cannot access Facebook, Twitter, or Google + because of government censorship.
User base: 1 million members, almost all in Iran
What’s something special about it: It’s heavily monitored by the government and officially bans offensive jokes.
Find it: http://www.cloob.com/
What is it: It’s a specialist social network for chefs and foodies to share recipes and food pictures.
User base: Undisclosed, but the buzz is building around this Indian startup.
What’s something special about it: Step-by-step recipes with a proprietary tool (RecipeWriter) making it easy to recreate almost any dish.
Find it: http://www.cucumbertown.com/
What is it: It’s a social network for people who work in and around government.
User base: 150,000 member, mostly in the United States
What’s something special about it: The network is focussed on connections and learning – there are dozens of self-improvement opportunities on the platform.
Find it: https://www.govloop.com/
Is there a social network that you’re on that is still a secret to most people? Let us in on the details on Twitter!