Social media is here to stay. But when most people think of online social interaction, they immediately picture the top social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. The truth is, the best social media sites for each individual might not necessarily be the biggest. Here are some other options you might find woven into the Net.
- General Sites With Different Formats. While the big sites allow for everything from photos to videos to links to blog posts, some sites narrow the medium a little. Pinterest is perhaps the most popular example, providing users a venue to showcase, share, and search photo based collections across the Web. Sites like eLance and LinkedIn focus on business news, networking, and job searches, while Spotify combines social media with a music listening service.
- Hobbies, Countries, and Niches. The all inclusive nature of the large sites is a huge part of their appeal, but niche specific sites can be every bit as useful, and more so if you hate filtering out comments. There is a massive list of social media sites catering to every conceivable hobby, location, or group identity you can imagine. PatientsLikeMe is a webwide support group designed to connect people with terminal, chronic, or otherwise life altering illnesses to others going through similar experiences. Ravelry is dedicated to crochet and knitting. And DontStayIn is exclusively for people who go clubbing in the United Kingdom.
- Social Media for Social Issues. And of course, advocacy of any particular cause is fertile ground in which any social media site can take root. Sites devoted to controversial issues, like abortion and gay rights, strive to bring people together to discuss, deconstruct, and debate the issues of the day. Every possible shade of political affiliation has spawned its own social media site. And some sites, like Happier, are dedicated to sharing only happy events, specifically restricting their posts to uplifting, inspiring, or simply grin worthy content.
The concept of the “best social media sites” is often confused with the “biggest social media site”. And while popularity undeniably lends credibility, conformity does not always breed contentment. The sheer volume of social media sites is evidence enough that the Internet has a place for everyone. And if your particular interests return no search results, then go ahead and make your own site.