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How specialized social networking sites are transforming the internet

20th August 2018 Print

Massive social networks like Facebook and Twitter are great for connecting people to discuss ideas, concepts, and communities, but a lot gets drowned out in the general noise of things. That's especially true for a niche hobby or interest, but specialized social networking sites are changing that. Here's a peek at five niche social networks and how they're transforming the internet as we know it.


If Facebook is how you stay in touch with your family and friends, LinkedIn handles your work circle of acquaintances. Profiles on LinkedIn are designed to read like a resume of all the professional experience you have to help present yourself in a positive light to prospective employers. Plenty of people have gotten job offers based on their LinkedIn profile alone, which means this job-oriented social network is changing the way we think about employment.


Nextdoor arose out of a desire to create a more cohesive community for neighborhoods across the globe. Anyone can sign up and define a neighborhood with a drawing tool on Google Maps, which gives houses within the defined area a Facebook-like experience for communicating with one another. It makes organizing neighborhood events much easier, and it's becoming one of the fastest-growing niche social networks on the market. The company is expanding its presence by offering its services to more companies and provides a way for local neighbors to get to know their neighbors in a friendly digital setting.


As the name suggests, StockTwits is a social network for traders designed to communicate rapid-fire information about the stocks they are trading. It takes the Twitter concept of short messages packed with information and due diligence about stocks while creating stock pages for companies where mentioned stocks are highlighted in real-time. StockTwits helps you see what other traders think about a company and its performance in real-time, whether the markets are open or not. The best way to utilize this social network is to follow traders whose money-making strategies most closely resemble your own. That will take some time and due diligence to get a good feed going, but it's also an excellent way to keep yourself accountable as a trader by comparing your predictions to how well the company actually performed. has been around longer than most of the social networks on this list, but it continues to see success as a music listening platform and for discovering new music. Users of the social network can "scrobble" the music they're listening to their profile, where other users can comment on the artist and album. It's a great way to discover new music from people who have similar tastes in music, especially if you prefer more eclectic tunes that you might not hear on mainstream radio. The site has some features that are locked behind a premium subscription, making it one of the few social networks with a paid tier.


Steemit is a new social network that is experimenting with paying users for creating and posting content using the blockchain and the STEEM cryptocurrency. STEEM tokens are awarded to users who contribute to the site by upvoting content before it gets popular and contributing great content. As your profile generates more Steem Power, you get a larger portion of the daily tokens that are generated. It's free to sign up for an account, and you shouldn't consider it as a possible get rich quick scheme, but a blockchain-based social media site provides vastly different incentives for participating in content distribution.