Let’s start with a very promising “newbie” (2015) who is a direct competitor to giant known only as Instagram. It is an app, where its user can share not only photos and videos, but also movies, TV, music, books, places, and links. What makes it interesting, apart from this, is the fact that it’s ad-free and algorithm-free social network. Its motto is pretty clear: “less media, more social”. Vero was launched back in 2015, and in the last few months, it became one of the most popular free apps on App Store.
There is a couple of interesting differences than you are used to from Instagram. Firstly, you can set who will see your content – you can share it with close friends, friends, acquaintances, and followers. You can also create collections, and divide your posts into photos/videos, links, music, movies/tv, books, and places. Another part of it is also a chat. The complexity, together with a nice, logical structure, is giving the app some real potential.
This one should ring a bell, TikTok (2017) is not a newbie exactly, but a real deal among younger users. Previously known as a Musical.ly, the app is based on sharing short-form videos. As you may probably know it mainly for a lip-syncing, but it’s not only some karaoke app, rather it’s famous for its act-out memes and clips, which are endlessly reproduced and remixed.
The platform is a favorite among youngsters, thanks to its simplicity. As explained on TechCrunch, compared to culture wars in Twitter, hateful, exploitive, or dangerous content on YouTube, and Facebook contributing to war crimes and the toppling of democracy, TikTok is simply fun.
Moreover, TikTok is currently the fourth most downloaded app (first in App Store) and already testing in-app advertising.
What makes the perfect content on social media? Video and short duration. Above mentioned TikTok is an evident prove, and this newbie from Facebook family is another one. Lasso (2018) is a video-based platform, where users record themselves dancing and lip-syncing, or they can easily record short clips (like Vines). It is obviously Facebook’s answer to TikTok and tries to gain younger users.
This is also a simple sign for all marketers. When it comes to a younger audience, the way of short-video format is a key. Once Facebook sees TikTok as a competition and invests to the format, you should keep that way in your mind as well. And we’ll see which of the giants will be eventually more successful. So far, the app is available only in select regions.
Let’s move to maybe a bit more alternative social media network. Steemit (2016) is based on similar principles as Reddit, that means users can upvote and downvote the content. But besides that, they can also make some money for it, to be completely specific you can earn the Steem cryptocurrency. The platform is partly blogging, partly social network, and the idea is to enable users to get another reward for their publish work over likes.
Not only shared content is paid, but you can also earn Steem for commenting or upvoting the posts there. The system of payment is then divided into three groups – whenever you create new content, you can decide whether you will receive 50 percent in Steem and 50 percent in Steem dollars, or the entire amount in Steem Power.
The last mentioned social media network is an alternative to Twitter. Mastodon.social (2016) is decentralized and open-source platform with no commercial intentions – no advertising, no data-mining, no paid sections. As the users are used to, they can share messages, photos, or videos within the limit of 500 characters. All the content is later displayed in chronological order.
The unique difference is in its decentralization, as mentioned, meaning anyone can create and run a server of Mastodon (called instance). Every instance has its rules; users can join them and follow their content. Besides that, users from different instances can also follow each other. The thing here is that there is nobody above everyone, just a space for as many different communities as you wish.