Remember Myspace, Facebook or even Instagram in their early stages, before advertisers, or sponsored posts became popular? These four new social media websites or apps are all virtually ad-free (for now). As a digital media strategist, it’s important to know what’s becoming popular and what’s fading away. Even if your company can’t capitalize on these social networks now, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever have the option! Here are four new social media websites or apps you need to check out.
Ello, which is still in beta, was created by a group of artists and designers as a private, ad-free social network. While it is now open to the public, it is currently invitation-only. In the beginning of October, the website saw around 40,000 users an hour who tried to activate accounts. Ello is said to be the “Facebook Slayer,” as it is a simplified form of Facebook, but without the ads. If you can’t get an invite, you can still view some of the user profiles. The profiles are similar to Facebook, with a vertical wall-like area to post. This area contains posts similar to Instagram as many people use it to post pictures, memes and quotes.
The social networking app Coffee was designed to connect business professionals with other professionals. Some say it is a genius cross between Tinder (the dating app) and LinkedIn. The app is intended to make it easier to find other’s who are looking for business partners, jobs, internships or just professionals in similar fields. Upon downloading the app you are asked to write about yourself in 140 characters. You can then click words that describe you, as well as, what you are looking for in other professionals. Once you complete your profile you can view other’s profiles and either give them a coffee bean or an X. If you give them a coffee bean, and they give you one too, it’s a match. It then gives you the ability to chat with that person (similar to the way Tinder works). This is a brilliant way to quickly find other professionals without having to search through millions of profiles. The app would benefit from a location filter, to make it easier to connect with people near you. Since the app is in its infancy, I would bet it will develop further as it gains more popularity.
3. Yik Yak
Yik Yak is a live, anonymous feed of what people are talking about near you. When the app is downloaded, it automatically uses your phone’s GPS to find other yaks around you. The app is taking off on college campuses. It has many campuses already listed, in which one can take a “peek” at and discover the chatter going on around that particular campus. Because the app offers the ability for freedom of expression, some are worried it may lead to more cyber bullying. There have already been arrests made in conjunction with yaks posted. Although the app is fairly new, as of March it had an almost quarter of a million users. The anonymity of the app makes it easy to shamelessly plug products in a cool, noninvasive way!
Bubblews is a website geared towards user-generated content. Users are encouraged to create great content that can be shared in “Bubbles,” or short posts, like news stories. Bubblews isn’t exactly new, as it’s been around since 2012, but they recently rolled out a redesign of their website (though they still don’t have an app). It currently has a little over 200,000 users who can be compensated for posting. Like Ello, Bubblews believes that advertisers shouldn’t power social networks. The website’s goal is to give the power to the people by compensating them when their content is liked, viewed or commented on. On average, the user makes .01 cents for each like, view or comment.
These four websites and apps are each very unique in their design, functions and social capabilities. In their infancy, it may be hard to predict which ones will become game changers in the social media industry. Start keeping up with these apps and websites today—if you don’t find them beneficial now, you may in the future. Have you already started using some of these? Tell us what you think!
Elizabeth Muckensturm – Communication and Media Professor