Not Facebook killers, but can these 4 social networks co-exist alongside?


During Facebook's ascent, many questions were raised regarding the cyclic rise and fall of social networks. At one time, MySpace was considered invincible but along came Facebook and shattered that belief. In between, there was Orkut but it quickly disappeared as well. Facebook has triumphed and has become the defacto social network of the world. It has acquired all possible competitors like Instagram or Whatsapp but even then there appears to be a palpable need for something more personal. There still seems to be space for fresh social networks in different communities for different purposes and this is where a number of players are coming in. We take a look here at some of the interesting global social networks:

Ello - The ad free social network which does not sell your data

Ello - A new social network on the block that promises to give you an ad free experience and promises not to sell your data to advertisers. Ello was founded earlier this year and has been growing rapidly. A big factor that contributed to its growth was Facebook's policy of forcing its users to reveal their real names and the stand that the gay community took against it. This social network has over a million users with growth having peaked around September this year, when they claimed new users were joining them at the rate of around 30-35K every hour. However, the growth of Ello has slowed down lately. There are chances that it might fall into oblivion like other social networks that preceded it.

Diaspora - Diaspora's USP was to decentralize social networking, making sure that the user's data is not with a single entity. The project was first launched on Kickstarter in 2010 with a goal of raising $10000. Within 12 days they had raised over $100,000 and eventually closed at around $200,000. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is reported to have also donated to the project on Kickstarter. In 2012, the founders handed over control of the project to the community. Diaspora operates via community-based pods (servers) that can be joined by people. The data users post on Diaspora is owned by people instead of the community. The fact that awareness about an open source is still very limited to people from the tech community might prove a big hurdle to the growth of Diaspora and might also stop it altogether.

Nextdoor - Nextdoor is a private US-based social networking site that has raised over $100 million in funding till date. Unlike other social networking sites, Nextdoor focuses on neighborhoods and has over 40,000 neighborhoods signed up on the website. The power of neighborhoods is exploited very well here. Most of the working class people do not know who their neighbors are but this network helps todo just that. There have been several instances when people have helped each other by seeing their posts on Nextdoor. It could be to help a neighbour find a babysitter or report a crime. Ironically, Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor Founder, was accused in a hit and run case earlier this year.

Vebbler - Vebbler is an Indian social network, which makes sure that one separates real world relationships and interest based relationships. One can either add people as friends or as followers. There are clubs for personal sharing where one can group people in different categories like friends, family, workmates and acquaintances. The site was launched in November, 2013. At present, they claim to have a presence in around 103 countries, with a focus on India and the Middle East.


Updates from around the world