On the eve of the one year anniversary of Facebook's disappointing IPO, News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch tweeted a potential prophecy of the social media behemoth's demise.
He should know: In 2005, Murdoch bought MySpace for $580 million, only to dump the company in 2011 for a measly $35 million.
Facebook has been floundering since last year's IPO. In February, the Pew Research Center released a study that found 28% of Facebook users reporting that the network was less important to them compared with the year earlier period. In addition, 34% said they spend less time on the social platform. Users' waning enthusiasm is reflected in Facebook's stock price which, despite rebounding from its all-time low of $17.729 last May, closed last night at $26.13—31% below the original flotation value.
Here are three social networks that are starting to gain traction. Get to know them now, in case Murdoch's prediction becomes a reality.
With 50 million users (and counting), this smartphone messenger is fast, quick and easy-to-use. Basically, it's the modern equivalent of AIM. The app is free to download and available on nearly all operating systems. In addition to texts, users can share content like photos and voice messages. The kicker? The app uses data plans or Wi-Fi to transmit and receive messages, helping users avoid text messaging rates from telecom providers.
Snapchat's main demographic is the covetable 13 to 25 group, but its user base is growing daily. The photo messaging service sends pictures, drawings, videos and messages to a select list of recipients. Then, the message disappears forever. (Or so the company says—there has been some debate concerning its promise of ensuring the content vanishes for good.)
If Kik and Snapshot are all about sharing, Wanelo is all about shopping. Users on the e-commerce site post pictures that pop up in a Pinterest-like framework. The difference is that, when you click on a picture, you are taken directly to a website where you can purchase the item. Wanelo is consistently among the highest rated apps in the lifestyle category in Apple's App Store, frequently holding the No. 1 spot.
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