New Players vs. Traditional Social Networks. Who will Get the Trophy?

We always strive to find out something new, funny, and unexplored. On the other hand, we like to use lovely and handy things, and online services are not the exception. In line with this, it seems to be absolutely natural that mastodons of social networking absorb up to 80% of global internet audience. But do they rest on their laurels or suffer fierce competition from new entrants? Let us consider this.

Most used global social networks

According to GlobalWebIndex, the current global ranking of Facebook looks invincible and has the shortest gap between the overall number of accounts and active user quantity. Only Instagram seems to be able to get the same ratio in the nearest future, while YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn users are more willing to abandon their accounts.

About 10% of users have no account in the mentioned above social networks, and this is a true confirmation of the online freewill.

Instagram increased its active users base by 23% in the Q4 2013, according to GlobalWebIndex, and it is the fastest growth among other platforms.

Middle East and South Africa seems to be the most active users of the global most popular networks followed by Latin America. This is a common trend for emerging internet markets, unlike established US and European internet audiences, which tend to more diversified usage of social networks. Indonesia is a remarkable example of the Asian market, where 97% of internet users have accounts on Facebook.

Here lies the most interesting assumption that the U.S. and European social network audience insensibly flows to new destinations.

New social networks

The expansion of new devices, which recently entered our lives, radically changes the ways we use online services. Internet usage becomes more mobile-based and brings new social networking facilities, such as mobile networking and messaging apps. New devices mostly influence the established markets, and we notice significant transformation of users behavior in these countries.

Mobile networking applications rose greatly at the end of 2013: WeChat +379%, Vine +105%, SnapChat +54%, and WhatsApp +35% compared with Q2 2013 and Q4 2013. So, who are those most successful and innovative players of this considerably new social networking segment?

New social networks overview

WeChat

Mobile communication tool
Launched in: January 2011
Country of origin: 
China
Features: Supports text, photo, voice, and video messages. Provides group chats, location-based sharing, broadcast messaging, and data exchange.
Available: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Phone, OS X.

SnapChat

Photo and video messaging application
Launched in: July 2011
Country of origin: 
the U.S.
Features: Allows you to send titled photos, videos, texts and drawings. Users can set a time limit for how long recipients can see these “snaps”. After that snaps are being deleted from the recipients’ devices and SnapChat servers.
Available: iPhone, Android.

Vine

Video messaging application
Launched in: January 2013
Country of origin: 
the U.S.
Features: Allows users to shoot short videos and share them through Vine, Twitter or Facebook. Maximum seven-second clips are posted on a loop.
Available: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone

AppNet

Microblogging service
Launched in: August 2012
Country of origin: 
the U.S.
Features: Free of advertising microblogging service, which allows users to send messages up to 256 characters and share pictures and text files. Full access is chargeable and possible by an invitation only.
Available: iPhone, Android

Tinder

Location-based social discovery application
Launched in: 
September 2012
Country of origin: 
the U.S.
Features: Being used mostly for dating, the application allows users to anonymously like or pass on previously selected Facebook profiles. If your sympathy is mutual, Tinder opens a chat for you within the app.  The Best New Startup of 2013 according to TechCrunch.
Available: iPhone, Android

Of course, it’s too early to take these new players as serious challengers, which able to depose current leaders, but their innovative ideas attract many users. Although leading networks try to defense their positions by incorporating new messengers or other mobile services, new players yet take their piece of the pie and make the internet more diversified.

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