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Facebook competitors – there must be some, right? No. That’s the real answer although folks are trying, often indirectly, to make a dent in the social networking juggernaut, there is nobody of the scale, reach and influence of Facebook. And of course, there are those that delude themselves into believing they’re creating the next Facebook, but this post won’t focus on them and only on companies who’ve received some amount of venture capital or angel investment. Here is our breakdown of Facebook competitors which in reality is a list of aspiring Facebook competitors (and not real competitors – at least yet).
Facebook Competitors – Aspiring
The location-based social network is aggregating information on location and connections. Social and mobile – does it get better than that?
The easy does it blogging platform has a rabid and large following of college-age kids who are sharing content and interacting with each other via their Tumblr blogs. Could Tumblr offer this demographic the ties that bind?
The micro-blogging platform was derided by some as a feature of Facebook, but Twitter has shown that it’s 140 character messages and asymmetric follow patterns are more than a feature of Facebook. The question regarding Twitter is that is it just a different beast altogether than Facebook and so not a competitor as much as a new category.
The social network where you don’t do keg stands according to one LinkedIn executive, this is the social network for the business set. It’s also filed for it’s IPO, but in terms of scale, it is dwarfed by Facebook. That said, the sites are targeting two very different profiles of people, i.e. LinkedIn for your business persona and Facebook for your everything else. Although it’s conceivable Facebook could encroach on LinkedIn?
Started by Dave Morin, a veteran of Facebook, and Shawn Fanning, the founder of Napster, Path is described by some as the anti-Facebook as it aims to help you connect with a smaller group of friends. Path is an iPhone app that lets you take pictures and share them with an “intimate circle” of friends. This is largely on this list because of Morin and Fanning’s background and the Silicon Valley punditry’s claims it could be the next Facebook and the fact that Google has already allegedly shown interest in acquiring Path for $100 million (yes you read that right). We’re not sure if those claims have any merit, but right now, this one is one to watch to see if the steak matches the sizzle.
Other Facebook Competitors that maybe worth watching
Like A Little, CollegeOnly, and Diaspora which we’ve covered in a prior post are giving it the good college social network try and aiming to create a social experience that is like the Facebook of old, i.e., only college students and no moms, aunts and high school kids. None has achieved significant scale yet, but perhaps with time.
Facebook Competitors – Old Guard
You’ll notice that we’ve not highlighted many Facebook competitors who have come and gone or who have done the proverbial pivot (or just folded/undergone an asset sale of some type) and moved onto what they hope are greener pastures and ceded social networking to Facebook. No post on Facebook competitors would be complete without mentioning the old guard of competitors which include News Corp’s MySpace, Google’s Orkut, hi5, Multiply and the grand-daddy of them all Friendster. Digg at one time was also thrown into the mix, but it’s safe to say not so much anymore as the viability of that company is probably the bigger question. None of these are relevant in social networking at any scale today in the US or globally.
Do you think any of these aspiring Facebook competitors has a shot at dethroning the Mark Zuckerberg empire? Are there other Facebook competitors we may have missed? Leave them in the comments.