Facebook and Twitter may be the most popular online social networks, but millions of users around the world are reaching a certain kind of “social media ennui,” a sort of fatigue brought on by overexposure and the need to see something new and exciting.
Even recently launched social networks such as Snapchat and Vine are already looking a bit long in the tooth for the tastes of demanding netizens. Fortunately, online entrepreneurs and innovative developers are always looking for opportunities to debut new and exciting products that could give Facebook or even Tinder a run for their money.
The following three social networks have just gotten started in the last few weeks; each one appeals to its own unique subset of Internet users. Will any of these social networks ever approach the success of Facebook or Twitter? Only time will tell; what we know right now is that these electronic communities have lots of interesting potential:
Technology giant Apple is not satisfied with dominating the market of cool mobile devices. When Apple acquired headphones manufacturer Beats from hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre, the company also obtained a very cool music streaming service with more than just audio tracks; it also included neat social networking features that appealed to audiophiles, music industry insiders and artists.
The current Beats Music app has the potential of resurrecting iTunes and Ping, two of Apple’s attempts at dominating the online music and social networking spaces. Through Beats Music, which may be renamed to Apple Music, recording artists will be able to set up a profile and connect with their fans through comments and messages handled through iTunes. What is even more interesting is that Apple may create an Android app just for this purpose.
Would you let someone borrow money solely on the credit worthiness of their social connections? Such is the premise of Vouch, a new social network founded by former key employees at online financial giants PayPal and Prosper. What is interesting about Vouch is that it establishes a credit standard for membership: users who wish to borrow money on this social network must have at least a 600 FICO score. Further creditworthiness is established within social circles, whereby members can vouch for their friends with their own wallets; this means that they may agree to repay a portion of the loan in case of default.
Internet entrepreneur Natalie Massenet is as elegant and she is resilient. She founded Net-A-Porter in the midst of the Dot-Com bubble era in Wall Street, but she has been one of the few to survive the crash. Ms. Massenet developed Net-A-Porter and transformed it into the premier online emporium for high fashion; lately, she has been paying close attention to the staggering growth of mobile e-commerce and social networking. Her response to this online trend is Net Set, a proprietary mobile app that doubles as a retail store and a social network for lovers of high fashion. Instead of fully relying on user-generated content, Ms. Massenet will feature the experiences and insights of 15 “professional fashionistas” who travel the world in search of cool fashion while they interact with their followers.