Niche Social Media Sites: Rebelling Against the Mainstream

Catmoji

Facebook still tops the list of popular social networking sites. But, with everyone and their mother (maybe even your grandmother) on the social media giant, some users are choosing to break away from the masses for something a little less mainstream.

Here’s a fun comparison of some lesser-known emerging social media networks, with an ultimate decision of which site reigns supreme for their niche audiences.

 

Music and Lifestyle

JuggaloBook

“A Social Network for the Underground,” Juggalos and Juggalettes (die-hard followers of the rap group Insane Clown Posse) call JuggaloBook their online home. With a similar look and feel of Facebook, JuggaloBook keeps its features authentic for fans by replacing the iconic Facebook “Like” with the Juggalo’s call of “Whoo Whoo” and “Friends” are replaced by “Homies.”

First time users, beware of adult content.

VS.

LittleMonsters

Lady Gaga caused a media stir last year – surprisingly not with her wardrobe choice – but with her announcement to create her own social media site, LittleMonsters. Fans all over the globe “put their paws up” and connected with the famous singer on a site that combines the trending topics of Twitter and the recognizable “Like” and “Comments” of Facebook.

Winner: JuggaloBook. Despite the more polished look of LittleMonsters, users of JuggaloBook are there to connect with “family” – others society deems as outcasts. LittleMonsters, for all its sophistication comes off as a place for idol worship instead of community.

 

Pets on Parade

Catmoji

For cat lovers, the Internet is the proverbial “candy store” and the equivalent to a dog park for their Fido-loving counterparts. Catmoji, a recently launched social network for cat people, provides a Pinterest-like feel for users to caption their favorite kitties.

But more than just an endless stream of cat photos, Catmoji allows users to show their true love (or near obsession) with their furry friends by unlocking cat badges and adding their own cat avatar.

VS.

Puppystream

The newest social network on the scene for pet lovers, Puppystream lets users tell the stories of their pet’s life through photos. Integration with Instagram makes picture sharing easy and getting lost in stream of wide-eyed adorableness is almost inevitable.

Winner: The writer of this post is a cat person. While Puppystream offers the unique idea of showcasing your puppy’s life in a photostream, you can’t beat sleeping kitten photos. And the cat avatars and emoticons add a nice touch.

 

Social Networking for the Undead

Lost Zombies

It’s good to know enthusiasm for zombies is still alive and well. Thus, the popularity of Lost Zombies, a themed social network that does more than simply connect you with other members of the undead. Sign in, create your profile and submit photos and videos of your zombie survival experience to be used in a movie created from user submissions.

The social network already has a full timeline of how the zombie apocalypse will take place. As one of the few “survivors,” you can share your personal Doomsday story with the world.

VS.

Vampire Freaks

What Twilight started, Vampire Freaks continues. Although members of the “web’s largest community for gothic-industrial culture” would most likely be offended by any comparison to the tween phenomenon.

Users of this site have the option of joining a vampire “cult,” uploading videos, photos, in addition to recording emotionally charged musings in a public journal.

Winner: Lost Zombies, just for the idea of a crow- sourced zombie movie. Please make this happen.

 

Hobbies

Foodie

Gastronomists rejoice! A social network has emerged that enables you to check out endless streams of food porn without being interrupted with baby photos and makeup how-tos. Foodie allows followers to add recipes and photos from their favorite restaurants, in addition to liking and commenting on the photos of others.

VS.

Ravelry

An online community for knitters and crochet artists, Ravelry recently reached 3 million users in March – an impressive number for a social network that’s not a household name. The platform offers everything a crafter could need, including:

  • Virtual notebooks for organizing projects
  • Popular designs and patterns
  • Yarns
  • Forums and groups to discuss your hobby in depth

Winner: Ravelry by a yarn, err yard. Foodie has a lot of promise for amateur and seasoned chefs, as well as those of us who just like to look at pictures of food. Ravelry, however, offers its users more substance and the ability to hone your craft with its built-in features.

2008: Year of the Mini Social Networks

OpenSocialMySpace, Facebook, and the other large social networks need not worry.  The small, niche social network sites that are popping up faster than poker rooms in the 90’s are not going to hurt the big boy’s bottom lines.  They’re just going to draw more people by the end of the year because of one fact.

They’re just more useful than the big sites.

The appeal that brought millions to form profiles and make friends on MySpace and Facebook will have the opposite effect in 2008 an beyond.  We built our MySpace page and started Facebooking because everyone else was doing it.  As closed social sites begin to gain in popularity, they will appeal to people because NOT everyone else is doing it.  Inclusion is easy on today’s internet.  Being part of something exclusive is becoming the new IT thing to do. [Read more…]

ClosedSocial: A Growing Trend Towards Niche Social Networking

With the increasing popularity of huge social networks like Facebook and MySpace, it’s easy to see why niche networks are entering the market and falling off almost immediately. There seems to be no room for networks that focus on a particular hobby, demographic, or profession. They are too small, therefore they will all fail.

Or will they?
[Read more…]