With a billion registered users, Facebook is a pretty crowded place these days. That’s why plenty of Facebook refugees are roaming the Internet searching for social networks that aren’t so crowded but still offer real opportunity. Here are a few of our favorite up-and-coming Facebook alternatives.
Originally developed in 2004 as a teen-oriented social network in the age of Myspace, Tagged has grown out into something much more sophisticated.
These days, the site is focused squarely on social gaming and interactions. Tagged’s 100 million members are big on virtual gifting and games like Pets, which is similar to games like Farmville.
Tagged isn’t Facebook yet, but last year Forbes named it one of America’s Most Promising Companies.
Diaspora is an open sourced social network that’s actively trying not to be the next Facebook, especially when it comes to privacy. Their social network is distributed on various, distributed nodes and give users complete control over their personal data.
Many of the site’s design elements were incorporated by Google in the design of Google +, so don’t be surprised by a feeling of deja vus.
Diaspora doesn’t take advertising and might be a bit heady for the gambling crowd. Still, there’s no reason not to exploit as many social networks as you can find.
This is a very new site with a completely different take on social networking. Zurker bill itself as a sort of user-owned, cooperative Facebook alternative.
How it works is that member are invited to join and given fractional virtual shares in the company for bringing on new members. One big problem is that users are limited to 500 members in their network, so the pace of growth could be limited.
As a concept, Zurker is interesting, but sounds a little unwieldy to really work well. Still, it’s only six months and is still in beta testing.
We all know that the mobile web is a huge and growing force in technology. Some estimates predict that mobile web use will surpass desktop web use some time next year.
If you doubt their potential, ask yourself why Facebook paid over a billion dollars for Instagram last year.
Mobile social networks are an entirely different animal from traditional networks, but smart affiliates will be keeping an eye on them.
Tumblr is the one, more-or-less, traditional social network/micro-blogging site that could quietly unseat Facebook. The biggest problem with Tumblr is that it really defies a one-sentence pitch description.
In many ways, Tumblr is a more sophisticated Pinterest where anyone can post up pictures and short blog posts. Tumblr microblogs can be customized with templates and blogger can collect followers with similar interests to their own.
One problem affiliates may run into is that Tumblr is not particularly business-oriented, so don’t expect a hard sell to go over well there.