The Most Popular Social Media Platforms Products Today
Marketers know that the realm of social media moves fast. There are algorithms to track, new features to understand, and countless trends to tap into, especially the rise of AI tools for social media.
The popularity of social media platforms can fluctuate over time due to various factors, including changing user preferences and the emergence of new ones. We just need to look at the decline in popularity and users of Clubhouse and BeReal to see how quickly things can change in the social media realm.
In this blog, we’re going to look at ten ‘alternative’ social media apps you should consider as part of your strategy.
what is the social media platform?
A social media platform is an online service or website that allows users to create and share content, connect with others, and engage in social networking. Examples of popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. These platforms provide various features such as posting updates, sharing photos and videos, messaging, commenting, and liking or reacting to other users’ content. Social media platforms have become an integral part of modern communication and have a significant impact on how people interact and share information online.
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TikTok creators have developed another app, Lemon 8, that’s making waves. A combination of Instagram and Pinterest (a board-style format), Lemon 8 is built for content creation with an emphasis on photos over videos.
The app is one of the most downloaded lifestyle apps in Apple‘s App Store and has over 5 million downloads in the Google Play store.
The content on Lemon8 is split into seven tabs that show recommended and suggested posts:
What’s different about Lemon8 is that there are a lot of influencer ads and product recommendations and it’s hard to tell what’s sponsored content). There’s also a lot of writing as captions can include instructions or even recipes.
Marketing opportunities – Lemon8 is currently ad-free but due to its popularity, it could offer ads in the future. At the moment brands can use it to work with creators to feature their products.
Locket is a simple photo app created by Matt Moss as a personal side project for his girlfriend. It became so popular amongst friends and family, that Moss decided to launch it on the Apple Store.
The function of the app is simple – it allows users to view live pictures from family and friends from an iPhone’s home screen. Users can invite and add contacts and then add the app’s widget to a phone. The app will show the photos of contacts as they add images during the day.
Users can also upload photos to a ‘locket; which is then automatically shared and refreshed with the locket on the screens of family and friends.
The app rose to the top of the App Store charts after launching on New Year’s Day in 2022 and has been downloaded 20 million times. Since its launch, Locket has seen over 1 billion photos shared according to TechCrunch.
Marketing opportunities – There is currently no focus on Locket generating revenue but Moss believes there’s potential to develop features inside the app as users share more photos over time.
Founded by Twitter’s co-founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey, BlueSky is a decentralized social app with a Twitter-like user interface. It offers algorithmic choice, a federated design and community moderation. This means that the user is in control of what content they see and it’s easy to choose between servers.
The app functions much like Twitter, where you can click a plus button to create a post of 256 characters, which can also include photos. Posts can be replied to, retweeted, liked and also reported, shared to other apps, or copied as text.
At the moment, there is a waiting list to join the beta of the app and it’s invite-only. However, getting a BlueSky invite is something that’s absolutely hot. The app has been described as Twitter without the crap!
At the moment it only has 50,000 users so it’s small, but one to watch.
Marketing opportunities – As it is an invite-only app, there are no marketing opportunities to date.
Mastodon is a social media platform that is known for its decentralized nature. It is an open-source platform that allows users to create their own instances, which are individual communities with their own rules and moderation. Mastodon operates on a federated model, where users from different instances can interact with each other. It offers features similar to other social media platforms, such as posting updates, following other users, and engaging in conversations through comments and direct messages. Mastodon emphasizes user privacy and gives users more control over their data compared to centralized social media platforms.
Marketing opportunities – The developers of Mastodon have stated that there will be no ads so it’s doubtful sponsored content or paid media will be allowed. However, it could be used for market research, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and user-generated content. Focus on privacy
True is billed as the social networking app that will ‘protect your privacy.’ Its messages are encrypted so it allows people to connect with only who they want and set up private threads.
While there are also public threads, the attraction of the app is its private threads. These can be between just two people or hundreds, but the thread creator can only invite people one at a time (so no mass uploading). No private thread can be found through an online search or by other app users.
There are reportedly more than 10,000 users on the app and it received a $15 million injection of funding in 2023 from Microsoft veteran, Paul Maritz.
Marketing opportunities – True has promised users no tracking or no ads. However, Inc.com reported that the app’s Founder, Bret Cox says that while private threads will never support ads, there are ads in public threads based on the areas of interest indicated by a user. Cox has seen creators and bloggers using public threads to advertise their courses, and he hopes this can drive revenue for True in the future.
Meta has launched an app to rival Twitter and go up against Elon Musk called ‘Threads’. Fresh to the market in July 2023, Threads is expected to have a similar feel to Twitter but is branded as “Instagram’s text-based conversation app”, with screenshots suggesting users will be able to use their existing Instagram login details for sign-up.
Meta’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox says: “We’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run, that they believe that they can trust and rely upon for distribution.” Cox says the company’s goal for the app is “safety, ease of use, reliability” and making sure that creators have a “stable place to build and grow their audiences.”
It’s already causing a buzz but will not be available in the EU for the foreseeable future due to stricter privacy regulations.
Telegram is a popular messaging app that offers a range of features beyond simple text messaging. It allows users to send messages, make voice and video calls, share photos and videos, and create group chats with up to 200,000 members. Telegram also supports channels, which are public broadcasts that can be subscribed to by users. One of the notable features of Telegram is its focus on privacy and security. It offers end-to-end encryption for secret chats, self-destructing messages, and the ability to hide your phone number from other users. Additionally, Telegram has a robust API that allows developers to create bots and integrate various services into the app.
The advantages of the app are that you can use it even if you have forgotten the other person’s phone number. You can also store your chat or user history on the cloud which is not offered by other messaging apps at the moment. These elements are helpful for community building.
Marketing opportunities – Telegram Ads allow businesses to use sponsored messages on Telegram Channels with 1000+ subscribers to promote their products or services to users. Telegram Ads contain only a few components, including an ad title, ad message, and an ad URL that is linked to the business’s Telegram Channel or bot, but no external links are allowed.
Discord is a communication platform primarily designed for creating communities and connecting with others through voice, video, and text. It is widely used by gamers but has expanded to include various interest groups and communities beyond gaming.
Discord allows users to create or join servers, which are like virtual meeting places where people can gather and interact. Within servers, users can participate in text-based chat channels, voice channels for real-time voice communication, and video channels for video calls. It also supports direct messaging between users.
Discord offers features such as screen sharing, file sharing, and the ability to integrate bots for additional functionality. It provides a platform for communities to organize events, share information, and engage in discussions.
While Discord is commonly used by gamers, it has gained popularity among other communities, such as hobbyist groups, professional teams, and educational institutions, as a versatile communication tool.
Marketing opportunities – Discord allows marketers to promote their wares in communities. The key is to create a Discord server community based on a topic that aligns with or is associated with your brand. These spaces come with their own user roles, avatars, and access to video and voice chat. Visuals are important so make sure you use stickers, GIFs and images. There’s also a Partner Program you can take advantage of and you can use live events.
Patreon is a platform that allows creators to receive ongoing financial support from their fans or patrons. The Patreon app provides a convenient way for creators and patrons to connect and engage with each other.
For creators, the Patreon app allows them to manage their membership tiers, create and share exclusive content, and communicate with their patrons. They can post updates, share behind-the-scenes content, and offer rewards to their patrons based on different membership levels.
For patrons, the Patreon app provides a way to discover and support their favorite creators. They can browse through different creators’ profiles, join membership tiers, and access exclusive content. The app also enables patrons to communicate with creators and engage with the community.
Overall, the Patreon app serves as a platform for creators to monetize their work and build a community of dedicated supporters, while giving patrons a way to directly support and engage with the creators they enjoy.
Marketing opportunities – Patreon is built for creators to make money, not necessarily brands. However, brands are partnering with Patreon creators through influencer marketing to launch a campaign that includes that creator’s Patreon audience (e.g. exclusive discounts or product sneak peeks.
Polywork is a professional networking platform that aims to showcase individuals’ multifaceted skills and experiences. It allows users to create a profile highlighting their various projects, skills, and accomplishments across different domains. Polywork emphasizes the concept of “hashtags” to categorize and showcase the different aspects of a user’s work.
On Polywork, users can connect with others, collaborate on projects, and discover new opportunities. The platform encourages users to share updates about their work, achievements, and interests. It also provides features for endorsing and recommending others based on their skills and contributions.
Polywork aims to provide a more holistic representation of an individual’s professional journey, going beyond traditional resumes or LinkedIn profiles. It allows users to showcase their diverse skills, interests, and projects, enabling them to connect with like-minded professionals and explore new career opportunities.
Marketing opportunities – The social network has no revenue plans but instead is focused on growth and product. Monetizing the platform may include customization of user templates or advanced search similar to LinkedIn Premium.