New Social Networking Sites
Just When You Were Starting to Get Bored
New Social Networking Sites
Years ago, social networks were for people who wanted to stay connected with their friends, find old ones and make new ones. Social networking used to be about forming a hub where you and your friends can share photos, blog about the new movie you saw, post announcements and update your friends about your latest news.
Today, there are around 300 social networking sites for just about anybody. There are sites geared for teens, moms, professionals and even the “more mature” crowd. Social networking is especially popular among teenagers that posting, updating and surfing social network sites have become the digital equivalent of hanging out in the mall.
New Social Networking Sites / Tried and Tested
Among the social network groups, two names stand out. These are MySpace and Facebook. The success of these two social networks is phenomenal. MySpace started out as a social network for bands or singers to post gigs, look for gigs, find agents and stay connected with other artists.
Today, MySpace has over 106 million registered users, generates 1 billion hits per day and is the second most popular social networking site. MySpace users are usually in the teenage demographics but it is also popular with professionals, companies, young and old alike. Who doesn’t have a MySpace page?
Facebook was originally geared for college students. It was popular among the collegiate crowd as a way to find old high school classmates, get updated with the local college scene and stay connected with new friends they made at school. Facebook was initially limited to Harvard Students, where its founder Mark Zuckerberg went to school. Then it was expanded to include other Boston schools, the Ivy League and Stanford University. Today, Facebook has over 175 million users worldwide.
New Social Networking Sites / More Internet Marketing
The popularity of the two sites gave rise to a new age in internet marketing with the emergence of other social networking sites. Where social networking sites used to be a place for friends to stay connected, social networking websites have become marketing tools for businesses to reach out to their markets. Tapping into the social networking scene has given businessmen access to an established network where it has become easier to find people with similar interests, backgrounds and ideals.
New Social Networking Sites / Live in Brazil?
Aside from Facebook and MySpace, another popular new website is Orkut. Orkut is not really new but is extremely popular in Brazil and India. For marketing and businessmen planning to tap into those markets, Orkut is the place to be. It was originally made to target the American population but by word of mouth, Brazilians began logging on to Orkut and in a few years, Brazilian users outnumbered the Americans. Orkut is also the second most visited website in India. Owned by Google, you can login to the site by using your existing Google Account.
Bebo was launched in 2005 and is becoming popular in Europe. Bebo stands for Blog early blog often. It has around 40 million registered users many of them based in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US. There are currently planning to expand to France and Germany.
Blogtronix is becoming popular among entrepreneurs. It is a social network geared to help businessmen and businesses stay connected through tools which help them tap into their social network to help businesses find people with common interests, expertise, division or even alma mater. Blogtronix is more of a group platform or software to help communicate and collaborate.
Xing is another social network platform getting attention from businessmen. Xing like Blogtronix is a network for professionals who are looking for jobs and career opportunities. Like other social networking sites, you can also build your network and find other people. However, the main focus of the site is for professionals to get together or post company developments, potential hiring, business opportunity and business world functions.
hi5 is also not really new but still remains popular among social networks. The website has around 70 million members and is completely advertisement free. This is one of the main attractions of hi5. Another reason for the site’s popularity is its privacy options. The user can limit privacy options down to the last person. This means that the user has control over who sees his or her profile.
New Social Networking Sites / Joining the Bandwagon
Social networking sites are indeed popular and very “in”. However, businessmen need to be wary of these sites as well. These sites are extremely popular among teenagers and young adults. This market has the habit of joining one band wagon and on to the next, meaning they are always into the next big thing.
Here’s an example: Friendster used to be the “in” social networking site. At its peak, Friendster was as popular as MySpace and Facebook are today. It is still popular ranking 4th during a survey among social networking sites with 90 million users, however, most of its users transferred to MySpace and Facebook mainly due to their innovative apps and add-ons.
A Wharton marketing professor has cautioned businessmen that although Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Friendster remain on top of their game, there are no quantifiable elements that define why a site is popular or how to make a site popular. To make this clearer, AOL is reportedly creating a social networking website to be launched soon which is geared to compete with Facebook and MySpace.
New Social Networking Sites / Investing Time and Money
It is good to note that although most of these new social networking sites are free, businessmen will need to invest time and effort in order to make their personal pages presentable, attractive and unique in order to attract visitors. And this time and effort does not come freely. It is time away from family, friends and ourselves. So before joining the next big social network group, evaluate and research the social network and see if it is time and effort well invested should you opt to join.
Sources for new social networking sites:
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