Assuming you’re looking for the best Facebook alternatives because you’re tired of the SNS or want to explore content being shared by people beyond your friends’ circles, we’ve pulled together some options. The closest choice you have for anything that’s somewhat like the social network run by Zuckerberg and Co. is Google Plus. But there are more ways to join a community, say what’s on your mind and discover interesting content.
We’re going to start with a welcome assault upon the visual senses – Pinterest. One look at the website is enough to tell you that images form the driving force behind it. Here’s where snap-happy folks and regular web surfers who like sharing interesting things they stumble upon, come to play.
Whenever you see anything that catches your eye while web surfing, you can simply grab the URL and ‘Pin it.’
You can also upload stuff directly from your desktop. Additionally, neatly organize the content you share under various boards, the last-mentioned being categories you make up yourself. You may follow others and some or all of their boards, view and share videos and so on. Also, you can choose to make a ‘secret’ board be shared by invite only or ‘repin’ a Pin you like among the many other things the site allows you to do.
We could hardly start dropping the names of sites like Facebook without mentioning Google Plus. Let’s be clear here – Mountain View didn’t introduce anything revolutionary with this SNS. What we’re getting instead is a clean interface, the sort we were used to before FB got all confusing with numerous privacy settings which seemed buried beneath a lot of stuff we didn’t want to run through in order to get to them. Also, the Timeline redesign didn’t help matters much.
Enter G+, Gmail being the only invite required, with its uncluttered interface and clear directions on precisely who can see what you’re sharing each time you post anything. It’s true that even FB offers these custom settings, but everything’s explained much better in G+. If you ask us, its most handy feature is the ability to make Circles such as Friends, Family, Pals to Share drunk Pics with, Pals to Share kitten Videos with, Stars Wars Geeksters and so on and so forth.
Are you one of those people who think social networks go too far trying to present all of your personal as well as friends’ information in one convenient place? Maybe you just want a quick and simple way to share pictures and videos without being bombarded by all those extra details? Try WhatsApp which costs just $0.99 a year and delivers its services over your mobile data connection or Wi-Fi. So no more SMS charges.
It’s available for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone. It shows you status updates, lets you chat with friends and share images, voice clips, your location or videos and tells you about the last time any particular contact was seen using the application. You can also create groups within the app and watch out for two green ticks when you want to know if your message was successfully sent to a friend (does not apply for group chats).
This fifth service similar to Facebook is yet another messaging tool like WhatsApp. But there’s a lot more happening within the application here. Forget about the numerous connections you have on any other SNS; Path will only allow you to have 150 or less on your list. Why? Because of some dude called Dunbar apparently. So the tool should have you covered if you only add family and friends you’re actually in touch with.
The primary actions you will be able to carry out through the main UI include sharing photos, your location, a short preview of the music you’re listening to and status updates. Your content from the major social networking sites can be imported and you may also publish ‘Path’ moments to these portals. The whole setup is ideal if you want to stay in the loop with a group of people without having to bother about fine-tuning your posts’ visibility.
If images are enough to convey what’s on your mind or all you’re interested in sharing with others, look no further than Instagram. Its appeal lies in the fact that it’s like FB with photos only. You can give the thumbs up to images and even comment on them. There are options to follow people too. But the coolest part of the application is the bunch of effects available for your pictures.
These touch-ups cover Earlybird, Amaro, Hudson, Rise, Lo-fi, Toaster, Inkwell, Nashville, 1977 and more. There’s also linear and radial tilt-shift blur effects that let you play around with the depth of field, and keep only the main subject of the frame in focus. After you’re done, you can add a caption and optional geo-tag. Our sole grouse with it? Only square photos are allowed.
What can we say about the little blue bird that’s not been said before? This one in our roster of sites like Facebook is great for keeping you updated on everything you care about. So it’s not just friends who will be bombarding you with information here. You can also get a summarized version of what’s happening in the rest of the world if you choose the people you want to follow with care.
It’s very easy to make the common mistake of mot ‘unfollowing’ members who constantly tweet about subjects that are not interesting to you. That’s when your timeline gets crowded with stuff you don’t really give a fig about and Twitter starts looking less useful. You can upload photos or videos and even send Direct Messages to accounts following your tweets.
Of course, being part of a social network means interacting with people. You may not find your friends on all the contenders noted above. And if you’re just not comfortable mingling around with those who are not familiar to you, even if it’s in the virtual world, it may be quite a while before you ‘fit in’ with some of the best Facebook alternatives we’ve mentioned above. But don’t tell us you were looking for the same old networking experience in this lineup. Have we missed out any SNS you’re into? Do tell us about in the comments section.