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Popular niche social networking sites

Did You Know?The name of the social networking site Tumblr originated from the term “Tumblelogs”. Hand-coded multimedia blogs were known as Tumblelogs.Not all of us sign up for a social networking site one the basis of its member-count. In fact, a site with a huge member-count can make few of us feel lost in the sea of ‘faces’. For some, social networking is about finding like-minded people; for others, it could be about finding childhood friends. Social networking is more about finding your comfort zone. This is where niche-centric social networking sites come into the picture. Such sites allow members to follow their specific interests, and also connect with other people who share similar interests.

Social Networking Sites in Niche Areas
You would be amazed to find that there are quite a few niche-centric sites operating on the Internet. For those who are interested in finding that special zone to socialize, the list given below should be of help.

Images are for representative purposes only

► Co-founders: Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp► San Francisco, CA, USA
• This photo-sharing site allows users to categorize their ‘pins’ or photos under groups/collections known as ‘pinboards’. A pinboard is created keeping in mind a central theme.

• Some of the popular categories on the site are travel, films, food, fashion, art, and cars.

• The activity of ‘pinning’ on pinboards is displayed in a chronological order in the form of ‘pin feeds’.

• Pinterest encourages businesses to market their services and products by allowing them to create pages.

► Co-founders: David Karp and Marco Arment► New York City, USA
• This microblogging platform can be used for posting text as well as multimedia content.

• Founded in February, 2007, Tumblr reached a figure of 102 million blogs on 13 April, 2013.

• Tumblr allows users/bloggers to make their blogs private. Users can also change the appearance of their blogs through HTML coding.

• Tumblr users can re-post content from blogs they have subscribed to, by means of re-blogging.

► Co-founders: Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman► San Francisco, CA, USA
• Reddit is based on the concept of ‘bulletin board system’. Registered users of this site are allowed to submit links and text.

• Users of the site can ‘vote’ on the submissions of fellow users. Votes of users determine the rank of the submission. Members are awarded points (known as ‘karma’) for their links (that get voted up) and high-rated comments.

• The site helps in grouping submissions into categories called the ‘reddits’.

► Founder: Otis Chandler► San Francisco and Santa Monica, CA, USA
• Goodreads has got a huge database of books, book reviews, and annotations. The data found on the site is generated by users. Members are given free access to this data.

• Apart from reviewing and rating books, users can create their personalized book shelves on Goodreads.

• In the period between December 2007 and July 2012, the number of members on Goodreads rose from 650,000 to 10 million.

► Co-founders: Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever► Mountain View, CA, USA
• Quora is basically a question-and-answer site, where people ask questions and get answers from the members of the site.

• Although Quora is a question-answer site, it is not limited only to asking and answering questions. Users can use this social network to simply share their thoughts on different topics.

• One has to register on Quora with their real name and not any random screen name.

► Co-founders: Joe Greenstein and Saran Chari► San Francisco, USA
• This is a social networking site where movie enthusiasts can interact with each other.

• Users get varied information on movies, right from movie timings to reviews. At Flixster, one can also view trailers of upcoming movies.

• Flixter’s app called ‘Movies’ has been quite popular among Facebook users. Flixster has more than 50 million registered users.

► Co-founders: Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Vaillant► Mountain View, CA, USA
• This social networking site is meant for professionals from different fields to connect with fellow professionals having similar interests.

• As of January 2013, the site has registered more than 200 million active users. LinkedIn has presence in 200 countries. It is available in 17 languages, including English.

• Users can create a detailed professional profile on this site. The search and filter options offered by LinkedIn are amongst the best in the industry – which allow users to carry out thorough research.

► Co-founders: Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen► Palo Alto, USA
• Houzz offers people with shared interests in the areas of interior designing, architecture, and home improvement, a platform to interact.

• Users of Houzz can share photos of the interior and exterior of their homes. Houzz users can benefit from articles written by experts from the field of home improvement.

• By the end of October 2012, the Houzz database had accumulated over a million photos, and more than 4.7 million ‘ideabooks’ that were created by users.

► Founders: Nirav Tolia► San Francisco, USA
• Nextdoor is a social networking website that connects neighborhoods in the United States.

• Unlike other social networks, where the member count goes on increasing, the number of Nextdoor users in a particular group is restricted to a certain number.

• In the past, doubts pertaining to people using the network to shame their neighbors in public were raised. However, the company’s management has played down these doubts. Nextdoor management has claimed that since real names are displayed on the site, one would think twice before making snide remarks on their neighbors.

43 Things43 Things
► Co-founders: Daniel Spils, Erik Benson, and Josh Petersen► Seattle, WA, USA
• Users of this social networking site are provided a platform to list down their goals and share them with other users of the site. The site is called ’43 Things’ because its users can list up to 43 goals.

• Parsing of goals by the lexer helps users connect with other users having same or similar goals.

• The activity of listing down your goals should motivate you to pursue them with passion and urgency. Also, by stating your goals clearly, you remain focused on them. This is the main reason why 43 Things is one popular niche-centric site.

Here are a few more sites that you might find interesting:

  • Sgrouples (Private Personal Groups)
  • Fold3 (Historical Documents)
  • Birdpost (Bird Watching)
  • DisFriends (All Things Disney)
  • Library Thing (Books)
  • ComicSpace (Comic Books)
  • deviantART (Art and Illustration)
  • Dogster/Catster (Pet Owners)

Niche-centric social networking sites not only help connect lay Internet users with each other, but also provides businesses with a ready-made platform to find their audience. Thus, niche-centric sites hold the potential to grow and are here to stay for a long time.

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