New social networks help merchants reach customers and prospects. Here is a list of new social networks — building on our comprehensive list from 2017, “105 Leading Social Networks Worldwide.” Several new networks are from established social media companies, while others offer independent, open-source, and ad-free alternatives.
Amazon Spark is a feed of stories and images from Amazon customers featuring products ready for purchase. When users first visit Spark, they select at least five interests to follow to receive a feed of personalized content from other Amazon customers with similar interests. They can then shop their feed by tapping on product images with the shopping bag icon or interact with people by commenting or smiling on their posts. To contribute to Spark, you must have a Prime membership and make a minimum amount of purchases.
Relaunched in 2018, broadcasting app Anchor lets users record a quality podcast and broadly distribute it. Take voice messages from your listeners, and add their questions and submissions to your next episode. Visual episode builder makes it easy to edit and rearrange the audio in your episodes. Easily distribute your podcast to all major podcast platforms (including Apple Podcasts) with just one tap. Users can discover new podcasts, and send voice messages to podcasts while listening. Track how many people hear each episode and which segments get the most plays.
Facebook for Creators
Facebook for Creators is a new community to help video creators produce content on Facebook. Download the Facebook Creator app to help generate better videos, access insights, and connect with fans. Use the Live Creative Kit to make your videos more personal and interactive. See and respond to comments from Facebook and Instagram and messages from Messenger. Check insights about your page, audience, and videos. Upload videos and share to your Facebook story. Share your content to Instagram and Twitter.
Lasso is a new social media app to create and share short videos using filters and effects. Developed by Facebook to appeal to youth, Lasso is styled similarly to TikTok, the China-based app. Follow creators, search hashtags, and discover popular viral video trends. Lasso lets you know which hashtags are trending or going viral and which ones might be trending soon. Once you’ve found a video that’s trending, use the in-app camera to make it unique with special effects, music, text on video, and editing tools. Add your videos directly to your Facebook story.
Foursquare Swarm is a social app to map and track the places you go; share spots with friends; and enhance exploration. Businesses can appear as a check-in option if a user is nearby. To view a business’s tips, photos, location info, and other details, a user can tap to view the full listing in Foursquare City Guide. Check-ins from Foursquare Swarm will still count towards the total visits shown on the listing and under customer stats.
Caffeine is a social broadcasting platform and community for live entertainment, gaming, and creative arts. With Caffeine, engage in real time with broadcasters or viewers. Your feed shows what friends are creating. Broadcast through the Windows app or from a browser or iPhone. Users also can earn money without the need for a partnership program.
Mastodon.social is an instance of Mastodon, the decentralized, open-source, Twitter-alternative social network. Mastodon is not a commercial network. There is no advertising, no data mining, and no walled sections. Mastodon is built for real-time conversations with posts of up to 500 characters. The platform aims to make ethical design choices to combat the misuse of social media.
Facecast is a social app that combines short videos, live streams, and random live video chats. Facecast’s focus is on social fun. The random video chat feature lets you meet people nearby with common interests, or just explore one-on-one random chat. Short videos and live broadcast can gather fans and reward gifts. Facecast also has exclusive friends circles.
Vero is an ad-free and algorithm-free social network with a mission to be “less media, more social.” Although the platform launched in 2015, Vero received attention this year when it jumped to the top position of free apps on Apple’s App Store. Vero has drawn skepticism as well for its plans to initiate a subscription model. For brands, Vero focuses on original content and organic connections. Easily search your audience for each post, and get recommendations from those you trust. Vero is (currently) free for everyone.
Google My Business
Google has released the new Google My Business app, letting businesses connect with customers across Search and Maps. Respond to reviews, message with your customers, and see your followers in the Customers tab. Get real-time notifications to know when a customer connects with your business on Google. Make edits to your Business Profile and see those changes on Google in real-time. Businesses that are opening soon can create a free profile that will appear up to three months in advance of opening. When users tap the “Follow” button in Maps, they receive news (events, offers, updates) in the For You tab.