Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter have defined social networking as we now know it, but the trend of social networking has spawned new competitors and these four social networks are sure to change the face of social networking forever.
1. Google Buzz
Launched February 09, 2010, Google set out a challenge to Facebook and MySpace in the form of Google Buzz. Google Buzz is a new social networking website that upgrades Google’s Gmail and expands on the features already coined by MySpace and Facebook. Google Buzz is the first email host gone social network and has cool new features like full Picasa, Flickr, Google Reader, and Twitter integration, email support, no foreseeable character limit, and GPS tracking via mobile phone.
Foursquare is a social network designed to take social networking off of the computer and get its users off their butts and active in the real world. Foursquare allows its networkers to visit and “check-into” locations and broadcast their locations to their entire social network. There are cool benefits to using Foursquare and if you are the most frequent visitor of a location, you’ll be dubbed “Mayor” and may even get a few freebies from the locations vendor.
Are you looking for new places to shop, eat, or hangout and would love honest reviews and nonbiased feedback? Yelp might be just the social network you were looking for. Yelp is an online business review website gone social network and allows users to visit locations, write reviews, and find new locations in familiar and unfamiliar territory. The cool thing about the Yelp social networking website is its “Augmented Reality” app for the iPhone and other qualifying mobile phones that allows users to point their phone in any direction and see live reviews of businesses in those directions.
Gowalla is both a game and social network wrapped into one. Like Foursquare, Gowalla is all about getting off of your buns and turning your social network into a real life experience. Gowalla rewards its networkers by giving them points for finding new locations, discovering items, and bringing others with them to new locations. Gowalla also allows its users to pick up cool virtual items (found randomly at locations) and is like a real life fun-filled treasure hunting game.
– You might also enjoy Social Settings Where You Should Avoid Using Social Networks, Failbook: 5 Wrong Ways to Use Facebook and Guarantee Failure, and 5 Relationship Don’ts After You Survive a Facebook Breakup. Also, feel free to check out my blog for more tech craziness.