In a world of social media and Facebook abundance, it isn’t hard to imagine that groups of people with similar interests might congregate in other social networks. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are great platforms for exchanging information and finding people, but there is also a lot of noise out there – especially in an election year. Now that people are interested in using social networks, several new services are springing up to meet the demand. Here are just a few alternative social networks you may not be familiar with.
Path– the Anti-social Network
Designed specifically to share with just family and close friends, Path was launched in November 2010. This “Facebook opposite” has grown to include over two million users worldwide. Available online and as an app for iOS and Android.
Path can share photos, videos, who you are with, your location, what music you are listening to, what you are thinking, and even go so far as to share when you wake up and when you go to sleep. A unique feature of Path is the “smart journal” that will even automatically share your location when you change cities or neighborhoods. While the prospect of this kind of sharing and “intelligence” on Facebook would be frightening, the idea with Path is that you would want to have this kind of deep sharing with family and close friends so they can easily keep up with you and give you a call after you get out of bed in the morning.
Nextdoor– the Neighborhood Social Network
In a world of busy schedules, frequent moves and anything but in-person communication, it is fairly common for people that live next-door to one another don’t even know each other. Pew Research estimates that just 2% of the average Facebook user’s friends live in their neighborhood. Nextdoor provides a way to get to know your neighbors without having to leave your house.
The primary function of this social network is becoming an outlet for service recommendations, community announcements, neighborhood news and lost pet notices. Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to connect with the people in the houses around you without having to print flyers or go door-to-door and possibly be mistaken for an unwanted solicitor? You can check to see if you neighborhood is already listed on Nextdoor, if not you can add it by getting 9 of your neighbors to sign up with you.
Troton – the Equestrian Social Net
It was inevitable that hobbies and interests would eventually find a social network home. One great example is Troton, a social networking portal for horse enthusiasts connecting people in the horse community from across the globe. Users exchange equestrian videos, experience and advice via the bulletin board community and there is even a horse-themed fashion blog.