The seven social networks to keep an eye on in 2013

If you could travel back in time to October 2010 and were reading the right blogs you might have heard about the launch of a little photo app that made your camera phone pictures look like Polaroids  By December of that same year it had one million users. The app, of course, was Instagram and now it has around 90 million active monthly users although it was reported to have lost many recently it is still going strong. What’s next though? Is there another Instagram out there waiting to break through?

Well to answer that question, Forbes has taken a look around and come up with a list of social networks to keep an eye on in 2013.

1. The Pheed social network launched back in October to give its users, mostly celebrities, musicians and entertainment types the opportunity to monetise their “pheeds”.

“Pheeders” who have already signed up to the service include Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton. Monthly subscriptions range from $1.99 to $34.99 and in return subscribers can access media rich content including photos, video and live broadcasts.

2. Thumb. Need help deciding what to wear, eat or buy? Then log on to Thumb. Users are invited to upload pictures and pose questions to crowdsource public opinion. Questions have been generating hundreds thumbs up or downs and engagement is reported to be around four hours per month.

3. Medium is an invitation-only that takes its content seriously. It steers clear of the cheezburger crap and publishes well-crafted posts that “move humanity forward”, quite an achievement, from Twitter’s Biz Stone and Evan Williams.

4.  Conversations. Conversations is a social network for the office where workers can communicate “Facebook-style” in an attempt to avoid long-winded email trails.  It is from Hootsweet and has had some rave reviews. ReadWrite called it “AIM on steroids”.

5. Chirpify Some clever people have worked out how to make purchases with a Tweet. Chirpify can be used to fundraise, pay friends or buy and sell products online, all via Twitter. Chirpify takes a 5% cut and no credit card is required.

6. Flayvr, meanwhile, wants to organise your photos and videos. Flayvr automatically creates beautiful HTML5 albums to share on social networks and email and organises old and forgotten photos on your smartphone to boot.

7. Chirp. Another that gets much praise is a rather clever app called Chirp that allows messages and photos to be shared from mobile to mobile. The transmitting phone will emit a “squeak”, which other phones “hear”, triggering them to download the message or photo being sent.

Forbes suggest the content can then be shared over loudspeakers at meetings or even embedded in YouTube videos or TV programs, creating opportunities for brands and marketers.

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