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But how many of you have Untappd account? In fact, how many of you have even heard of Untappd? What about ResearchGate? Or StockTwits?
The web is full of amazing niche social networks. They often cater to a specific profession, hobby, or interpretation of networking. Here are eight awesome niche networks you’ve probably never heard of. Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below, too.
There are a few ways to stay ahead of the market. You could read financial news sites, listen to the leading podcasts about investing, follow the most successful traders on Twitter — or sign up for StockTwits.
It’s a platform for traders, investors, and hobbyists to share ideas and opinions about the market. The network’s centerpiece is a Twitter-esque live feed with the same 140-character restriction, but it also has a section for each major asset class, an area for chartists to share their technical analysis, and a customizable watchlist.
The company behind the platform also organizes regular conferences. They feature talks from industry leaders, a chance to meet business executives, and even an awards ceremony.
Interestingly, Twitter stole the idea of “cashtags” (for example, $MSFT) directly from StockTwits in 2013.
Dribbble is one of the best social networks for creatives. Its focus is design; anyone who works in the fields of web design, graphic design, illustration, iconography, or typography should have an account.
Once you’ve registered, you can upload and promote your work so would-be employers can find it and peers can offer feedback. Once you’re happy with your profile, you can list yourself (or your team) in the “For Hire” directory. And if you’re looking for work, make sure you check out the extensive job boards.
When it launched in 2010 it was invite only, but those restrictions are no longer in place and anyone can sign up.
Untappd is a network for beer enthusiasts. It offers some features you might expect from a network dedicated to fine ales (such as maps of nearby bars and breweries, local events, and user recommendations), but there are some additional features which help it shine.
They include unlockable badges you can earn as you try different blends, a check-in-and-rate function, suggested drinks based on your past tipples, barcode lookups for different beers, and even in-app Uber ordering.
The app has recently gained even more value thanks to its “Untappd for Business” product. It allows bars and pubs to upload their beer menu so you can see the full list of drinks an establishment offers before you make a visit.
Meetup is a network that enables people to gather together. It doesn’t matter whether you want to plan a party with your buddies or find the next political protest rally in your area, Meetup is the best tool for the job.
For each event, you can look at photos of past meetups, chat to fellow attendees, see who else a member of the group, and view the event calendar. Each event is tagged so you know exactly what to expect, and once you join one event the app will automatically recommend similar events in your area.
If you’re new to a city it’s a must-have; you’ll be able to develop a circle of friends in no time. It boasts a user base of more than 25 million people.
If you’re a scientist or a researcher, you need to go and sign up for ResearchGate — it’s the largest academic social network in the world.
Its 11 million users upload and discuss everything from proposals and patents to presentations and papers. It has Facebook-like style, where you follow people of interest and get a live feed of their comments and activity.
You can also follow “interests,” giving you a way to keep abreast of the latest goings-on in your field, no matter how niche it might be. The site is particularly popular among people working in medicine and biology, but almost every scientific discipline has at least some representation.
MyMFB is best described as Facebook for Muslims, though Chief Executive Officer Omer Zaheer has openly stated the site welcomes “nice and decent people of all faiths.”
It has slightly controversial origins. It was launched in 2010 after Draw Mohammed Day on Facebook led to the Pakistani government blocking access to the social media behemoth. Despite its tumultuous start, it now has more than 500,000 users in 175 countries and is growing quickly.
It has several Muslim-centric features, including a live 24/7 camera feed of The Holy Kaaba in Mecca, an ebook version of the Quran, and hundreds of tasty recipes that adhere to the religion’s dietary restrictions.
Given that ASKfm has 150 million active users, it’s perhaps surprising that it’s not more well-known.
The premise of the site is simple: you create a profile then ask questions to other users. The questions are not necessarily fact-based. They tend to focus on information that one user wants to know about another user.
At the time of writing, more than 25 billion queries have been asked (and answered), and more than 20,000 more are being added every minute.
The site received a lot of criticism in 2013 after reported cyberbullying, but it now has new owners who’ve relocated the headquarters from Latvia to Dublin and spent heavily on a new Safety Center.
WAYN (Where Are You Now) is a social network for travelers. Whether you want some advice about cheap hotels, need to learn about the transport system in a foreign city, or just want to find someone to go for a drink with while you’re on holiday, WAYN will be able to help.
It has 21 million users scattered all around the globe. The most active users’ profiles are packed with articles and links about their areas of expertise. You can waste hours browsing the content and reliving their experiences.
As you’d expect, you can also upload photos, videos, and diary entries as you travel. Thus, the network gives you an easy way to log your experiences for future reference.
Which Niche Social Networks Do You Love?
I’ve introduced you to eight niche social networks. Hopefully they’ve shown you how broad and varied the world of social media can be if you know where to look.
Of course, there are thousands of niche networks on the web, and I might have overlooked your favorite. So now it’s your turn: which niche networks do you love? What makes them such a great place to hang out?
Leave your tips and suggestions in the comments below!