With Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn (apart from YouTube) dominating the networking scene, it may sometimes make you feel as if these are perhaps the only social media platforms around, for the purpose of communicating with the people who matter to you in your personal or professional life.
On the contrary, many specialized sites are striving to carve a niche for themselves on the social media scene.
Ping for music
We have already looked at a couple of platforms like Path and Instagram that claim to let the users share photos in a more personal way. If both the networks are for those individuals who love sharing photos, Ping is clearly the one for music lovers.
- The Ping network of Apple operates within its iTunes app for both Windows/ Mac machines and the iPhone.
- Ping makes it that much easier as well as more productive to focus on one exclusive thing by opting to leave out other features. The users can notify their followers of their specific iTunes purchases and also track those made by friends.
- You can choose to click a ‘like’ button for songs or post a comment about a song – as long as it’s carried in the iTunes store. Even while you can post updates about one of your highly favorite Beatles tunes, you cannot share your liking for AC/DC since their music is licensed to Apple’s store.
- However, Ping can be a bit frustrating because, it’s not that easy to find friends to follow, in spite of the estimated 160 million iTunes users across the globe. Ping users can connect to Twitter, but not Facebook – to locate fellow users.
Diaspora for protecting your privacy
- What if, you’ve a sense of distrust of Facebook over the policy regarding collection as well as sharing of your personal data? A team of software engineers with that concern in mind have conceived Diaspora.
- It’s a social network meant to make it virtually impossible for the personal information of its users to be gathered on any central server.
- The crux of it is that they will sign up at a privately hosted server of the network. With the information on privately hosted servers, its designers also could not access it remotely.
- The project, currently hosted at joindiaspora.com, is in an invitation-only stage, undergoing tests for practical usage. You can seek an invitation from another user of Diaspora, to create an account and share your status updates/ images in a minimal ‘Facebook-like’ interface.
In essence, for such specialized social networking platforms, the concept of sharing is more focused, providing their members a greater control. However, as is evident, these niche networking platforms definitely need to take more steps to catch on with users across the globe. They need to get more proactive in an attempt to draw members who prefer a more focused and methodical way for sharing videos, music or photos or else it won’t be easy for them to challenge the might of Facebook and Twitter.