Up-and-coming social networks can be good places to establish your brand, run an experimental campaign with highly-engaged users, and develop a following before a network reaches mass adoption. Emerging social networks provide businesses with opportunities to connect to new user groups, beyond the established social networks of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Here is a list of new and emerging social networks to watch. There are networks with knowledgeable experts, opinionated users, monetized live-video feeds, location-based tools, temporary messages, and lots of millennials.
Learnist is a crowd-sourced collection of knowledge, with web, text and video content covering thousands of topics. Boards are curated by knowledge leaders, providing content from the people who know it best. Create your own expert knowledge boards on the Learnist website and browse with the iOS and Android apps. Learnist was launched in 2012.
Sulia is a subject-based social network to connect users with expert sources. Sulia seeks to help people to discover new sources and engage with their interests. If you’re an expert and would like to reach the audience Sulia has to offer, contact its staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sulia also offers a Sulia Select program, which matches top experts with leading publishers and retailers.
Pheed is a free social multimedia platform, available on iOS, Android and via the web. Pheed users share voice-notes, music, photos, videos, text, and live broadcasts. Pheed channel holders can also monetize their content by charging a monthly subscription fee (between $1.99 and $34.99) or by charging for pay-per-view live broadcast events. Pheed launched with an iOS app in 2012 and an Android app in 2013.
Medium is a place where people share stories and ideas — a great place to generate expert content. Medium is designed to be collaborative, with tools to let readers offer feedback. Medium is also designed to help you find an audience, through a combination of algorithmic and editorial curation. Medium launched in 2012, and its iOS phone app launched in 2014.
Cyber Dust is a platform for temporary mobile messaging. Texts sent via Cyber Dust automatically disappear 24 seconds after being read. Users can blast messages and locations, and send disappearing promotional content, like stickers, animated GIFs, URLs and more. An alternative to Snapchat, Cyber Dust is the latest startup of maverick investor Mark Cuban, whose own legal woes motivated him to create the app.
ShareBloc is a Reddit-like link-sharing community for professionals to curate, distribute, and discuss business content. ShareBloc could also be a good resource for small businesses in the B2B sector. The site launched in 2013 as a peer-review platform for members to rate and review vendors. ShareBloc’s main obstacle will come from the competition it faces from heavyweight LinkedIn.
Thumb is a crowdsourcing platform to ask any question and quickly receive 50 to 100 responses. Easily filter by topic to get relevant responses and new content. Thumb is a resource for any small business looking for quick feedback on a new product or service. Originally launched in 2010 as a tool to give shopping feedback, Thumb has become a place to discover and give feedback on seemingly anything. The mobile app is available for Android and iOS.
Impossible is a network where people help each other out. People who need help post a request, which is shown to users most likely to fulfill it. Those with help to give can share time, skills and objects for free, as they build kindness profiles. While this network is geared toward altruism, it may be a good place for a business to put its product to work.
We Heart It.
We Heart It is an image-based social network focused on inspiration, ｅxpression, and creativity. It’s a hipper version of Pinterest, aimed at “highly-engaged, tech-savvy, and consumption-focused millennials.” We Heart It has over 20 million monthly visitors to discover, collect, and share images on its mobile apps and website.
Chirp lets you send a message using sound — a chirp — to anyone running the app near you. Share photos, links, notes, and more, all from your built-in iPhone speaker. Chirp could be a powerful marketing tool for location-based businesses looking to entice passers-by. Chirp’s iOS app launched in 2012, and its Android app launched in 2013.
Mobli is a social application for sharing mobile photos and unlimited-length videos. It’s a feature-packed alternative to Instagram. Broadcast your live events, use photo and video filters update weekly, create looping videos, follow locations and hashtags, and more. In November of 2013, Mobil announced a capital raise of $60 million from billionaire Carlos Slim’s América Móvil.
Vine is an application for creating and sharing six-second looping videos. Vine officially launched in 2013 (after Twitter purchased it in 2012) and quickly became the most-used video sharing application. Recently, Vine launched a new website with a variety of features to discover videos, such as channels, trending tags, and curated content. The change could deliver further gains for Vine, which according to GlobalWebIndex is used by a quarter of U.S. teens.
Snapchat is a mobile platform to share temporary content with others. Share photos or videos that disappear after a time limit. Chat with live video, or create Stories with a series of snap. Snapchat is used by nearly 50 percent of teens in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. In the U.S. alone, Snapchat has approximately 25 million unique visitors per month. Taco Bell, General Electric, and Heineken are just a few of the brands running campaigns using Snapchat.