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roi.com.au Top Ten: Social Media Platforms you may not know

It’s not all about Facebook in the world of social media

While everyone in Australia probably knows Facebook and Twitter and most of us have heard of LinkedIn, there are a plethora of other social media platforms with significant audiences and usage rates around the globe.

If you’re looking to expand your social presence or are involved in international markets, it’s good to get an idea what social platform may work besides Facebook and explore ways to customise your social media presence.

If you’ve had your head in the sand in recent weeks and months, you may not have heard of the social platform that tops our list:

 1.      Google+

The recent extension of Google+ to allow businesses to add profiles, coupled with Google’s unmatchable global reach make it the only one on this list capable of challenging Facebook at the top of the tree. Google+ has been carefully developed, slowly released and generally incredibly well received since its launch earlier this year.

Not yet fully developed, but already on an expectant trajectory, Google+ seems to finally be Google’s answer to the social media question. How quickly they challenge Facebook’s dominance is the big question but most would agree it’s already a question of when rather than if.  

 2.      Tumblr

Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform which boasts “effortless sharing of anything” from music and photos to quotes and links in a customisable theme. Tumblr blogs worldwide number in excess of 20 million and the ease-of-use and SEO friendly aspect makes it a viable platform for publishing on the web.

 3.      Empire Avenue

This stock market simulator is the most unique idea in the world of social media and one of our favourites. We first came across Empire Avenue earlier this year and looked a little closer here. Empire Avenue is a virtual stock market which works by buying and selling shares in social media subscribers, a unique idea which feeds off the growth of other social platforms – if we were to pick one other than Google+ from this list of ten with a big future, it’d be Empire Avenue.  

 4.      Ning

Unsurprisingly another California start-up, Ning facilitates the creation of new social platforms which can be customised to suit the respective network. Whether it’s people with similar interests, an industry body or membership organisation, the social platform can be built to suit specific needs.

 5.       Reddit

Reddit is another social news website which relies on user-drive content. Similarly to Digg users vote on the content, which then determines where Reddit displays that content. In Australia, Reddit outperforms Digg by 8:1 according to StatCounter.  

 6.      Digg

Digg is a user-driven social news website allowing people to share stuff from around the web. Digg distributes content based on its popularity, as determined by Digg users – so the stories that receive the highest number of ‘Diggs’ make it to the front page for other users to read.  

 7.      Tagged

Tagged is a social network for people who don’t know each other. Tagged specialises in connecting with new people through common interests such as social games, group memberships and browsing profiles. The friend suggestions work similar to people you may know on Facebook and you can log into Tagged through Facebook. While it’s still relatively unheard of, Tagged has drummed up a following similar to that of LinkedIn in the US.

 8.      Orkut

Orkut is one of Google’s social media efforts, now in its eighth year. Although interest in Orkut has dwindled in the US and other western markets, it’s still a popular platform in Brazil and India and still has a user base to rival many of the smaller players in the US market.

 9.      Zorpia

Also claiming a population well in excess of 20 million is social media and sharing platform Zorpia. Despite its large user base, Zorpia was famously removed from Wikipedia in 2007 ‘due to a lack of notability’. There have also been concerns about spamming in efforts to attract new subscribers.  

10.  hi5

hi5 has evolved from a social networking platform to more of a gaming site in recent years. On the go since 2003, hi5’s strongest markets are in Latin America. Similarly to Zorpia, Hi5 has been criticised from some quarters for its ‘spam’-like approach to attracting new users.