Can anyone remember what the world was like before mass social networking? What did we do on the computer? Did we have computers? What did we do in everyday life? How did we communicate?
Social networking has opened doors we never knew we had. Who ever knew that we needed to update our statuses, “like” brands, +1 pages and links, tweet pictures and updates on the go or make a collaborative playlist?
But, social networking trends come and go just like fashion, computers, phones and diets.
In terms of social networking, what’s come, what’s gone and what’s on the horizon?
Stalk Your Ex and “Like” Your Favorite FroYo Shop
It’s no secret that people love Facebook– and the statistics show it. Facebook’s 750 million users are on the site for more than 700 billion minutes per month. There are more than 900 million pages, groups, events (including frozen yogurt shops) to browse and “like”, hundreds of former classmates, as well as 250 million users who participate in mass liking from their mobile devices.
Though Facebook was revolutionary in design and user experience, its predecessors, Myspace and Friendster, readied the social networking mindset for many people. Though Facebook made social networking spread like wildfire, there was life before.
Don’t Show Grandma The Party Pictures, Among Other Things
Google already has something of a monopoly on the Internet. Google+ initially surpassed Facebook as the fastest growing social networking site in history and offers features that force Facebook to play catch up.
Though Facebook helped pave the way for Google+’s success, many of its features are unprecedented. The mobile application for Google+ is much easier to use and much more reliable than Facebook’s.
Google+ also allows multiple users to chat or even watch YouTube videos as a group. Users can also coordinate huge dinners or Thursday night drinks via the chat room/text message feature called Huddles.
The circles also allow for more privacy than Facebook. Instead of going through the trouble of marking your album private and wondering if it works, you can just share with specific people.
Listen to Music Without the Guilt of Piracy
Before Spotify, music was a fairly overlooked aspect of social networking. Sites like last FM and Pandora offered somewhat of a glimpse into your pal’s favorite tunes, but Spotify took it to the next level.
Its design looks familiar to us and it’s an actual downloadable application, making it similar to iTunes and easier for us to wrap our minds around. Spotify lets you listen to just about anything you can imagine without the guilt of piracy and/or the F.B.I. breaking into your house while you sleep. Spotify also allows you to browse your friend’s playlists, create collaborative playlists together, access your music from any device with Spotify installed and sync all your mobile devices at once.
Be Productive and Proactive
For those who like to at least make an effort to use social networking responsibly and for an actual purpose, websites like Just Visiting allow you to stay up to date on current happenings in the real world, like trends in health insurance or health care reform and then to share your findings with friends or see what others are saying. With Just Visiting, healthcare and other relevant issues can be incorporated into social networking.
Read 140 Characters of Timely News and Useless Rants All At Once
When Twitter first debuted, nobody knew what it was for. A few years later, and people still aren’t really sure. But, it’s a great place to aggregate news from businesses, news sources, friends, family, musicians and even people’s pets. And somehow, it’s still less cluttered than Facebook.