Social networking sure has changed over the years. Before Facebook and Twitter dominated the web, we were a lot more familiar with sites like MySpace and LiveJournal. Although a good number of people still use older social networks like MySpace and LiveJournal, the web is really seeing a huge surge in social media innovation – especially with the recent shift toward mobile-based social media consumption.
Here is a short and more up to date list of a few of the best performing, most current and trendiest social networks to be using in 2012.
Not surprisingly, Facebook is the top social network on the web. Nothing quite compares to it, not even Google+. With all the changes it has gone through over the years and the recent roll out of the Timeline profile, Facebook has always remained one step ahead of everything else on the web.
Like Facebook, Twitter has also changed for the better over the years of its existence and continues to expand in popularity. Centered around microblogging and a 140-character text limit, Twitter has become a popular social network of choice for mobile web users who own smartphones and tablet computers.
Known as the social network where professionals can connect, LinkedIn is right behind Facebook and Twitter. Individuals can promote themselves and their businesses, make connections with other professionals, interact in group discussions, post job ads or apply for jobs.
As it made its debut in the early summer of 2011, Google+ was the fastest growing social network the web has ever seen. It seems as if Google has finally created something that people are actually excited to use – unlike previously failed attempts at jumping on the social media bandwagon with projects like Google Wave and Google Buzz.
Good old YouTube. Nothing quite compares to YouTube when it comes to video sharing. Although owned by Google, YouTube is still recognized as a separate social network all its own, and one that revolves entirely around video production, vlogging, movie-making and music sharing.
Location-based social networking is hot right now, and Foursquare is where it’s all at. The idea here is to download the mobile app for iPhone or Android and check-in to venues that you visit. It’s a fun way to compete with you friends for points and badges, while also gaining the opportunity to save with some places that incorporate Foursquare deals into their business.
Tumblr is another form of microblogging, but unlike Twitter, it is heavily influenced by image sharing. You can follow other users and be followed back. “Reblogging” and “liking” is a popular way to interact. If you post great content, you might be surprised to see how many followers you can attract.
Reddit has a very strong and closely knit community. If you do nothing but promote your own stuff on Reddit, you probably won’t be making anyone very happy over there. Submitted links to content get voted up or down by users. Links that receive the most upvotes will get pushed to the first page where the potential for viewership is huge.
Pinterest is still a baby in the world of social networking, but it’s growing up fast. As the fastest standalone site ever to reach 10 million monthly unique visits, it’s beautiful and intuitive user platform is definitely turning heads online.
StumbleUpon is channel surfing for the web. You simply choose specific categories of interest and press “Stumble!” to load a new page or website for you to view. You can submit your own pages, like other pages, and growing a following.