Another year’s nearly in the books and a slew of new social networks are working to catch our attention in their respective app stores. Whether you’re looking to make new friends or find another avenue to share an opinion or tell a great story, 2014 had something for everybody. Here are a few of the budding social networks you may want to give more than a passing swipe.
The latest brainchild of Twitter co-creator Biz Stone, SUPER is a funky social networking app that brings its own style to sharing life’s moments. The function of the app is actually very simple–just snap a picture, choose the appropriate ALL-CAPPED caption, write some text, add a filter, and send. The app itself is praised for its superior, yet simple design, and it carries with it a certain self-awareness to the social space.
The verdict: Some people will love it, others will absolutely hate it, but its future seems bright (and most definitely neon pink).
Hyperlapse is the social network that sparked everyone’s interest this year for two reasons: one, it was brought to us by Instagram, one of the most popular photo sharing networks and two, it actually brought a new dimension to the concept of social media sharing. Hyperlapse allows users to share stabilized time-lapse videos (up to 12x normal recording speed). With a simply designed interface and direct connection to both Facebook and (of course) Instagram, Hyperlapse makes good on its promise at launch: “to provide simple yet powerful tools that let people capture moments and express their creativity.”
The verdict: The high-quality end product makes Hyperlapse a top contender for the next big thing for social media.
In a world where the average social media user values his privacy more than ever before, it can be a struggle to connect with others without compromising both personal data and a sense of security. And with the big social networks introducing more and more ads into the mix, one may feel the need to get back to more a simpler social networking concept. Enter Ello, a social network with privacy at top-of-mind. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and the other mainstream networks, Ello does not sell ad space or distribute user data to advertisers.
A strict no-ad policy ensures that users get the cleanest, most seamless social networking experience. As its website states quite clearly, “Your social network is owned by advertisers. You are not a product.”
The verdict: Ello is currently invite-only, so you can either join up or get used to being just another cog in the corporate social media machine.
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. A ton of new social networks hit the Web this year, but many seem to rehash proven formulas with little to no true differentiation. The platforms and apps covered here set out to do something different and unique. One can only think that in our “always-on” world, a breath of fresh air is nice every one in awhile.
Try out one of the new social networks we reviewed and let us know your thoughts!