Social networking sites to suit all Kiwis

16:00, Jan 11 2013
Social Networks
COME TOGETHER: Got Facebook fatigue or tired of Twitter? There's plenty of other sites out there for a fix of social networking.

Research by Nielsen suggests 80 per cent of online Kiwis visit Facebook each month, while Twitter is the third most popular social media site in the country, with 431,000 people visiting it in October.

But look beyond the two blue behemoths, and you'll find a wide range of sites to suit all social types and tastes.


This social scrapbooking site attracted 10 million users faster than any other social networking site and is currently the fourth most popular site in the United States, with an estimated 85.5 million unique monthly visitors. Members post pictures on topics of interest on their "boards" and can follow friends and other members who do the same.


Similar to Facebook, Tagged lets you set up profiles, message friends, play games and post photos. It has more than 300 million members and is the ninth most popular site in the US.



Google's Facebook rival is steadily gaining on its bigger brother. The service lets you group people into different circles, eg work, friends and family, so you can share different content with different groups, video chat with contacts, and get news and content on topics you're interested in delivered straight to your profile.


MySpace was the top dog in social networking until about 2008, when Facebook overtook it. The site is now heavily focused on entertainment, letting members follow and sometimes stream the latest in music, TV shows and movies, and follow their favourite celebrities.


Share common interests with people from around the world on this social blogging site. Users create their own journals on topics of their choice. The site has more than 16 million journals and is the eighth most popular social site in the US.


A site that helps you connect with new friends - or more commonly love interests - in your area. Has 2.5 million unique visitors worldwide each month. Current supported cities and towns in New Zealand are Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Hastings, Tauranga and Invercargill.


Probably one for teenagers, Little Monsters is a social networking site created for fans of Lady Gaga. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the content on the site is to do with the eccentric popstar herself - her tweets, pics and news - but members can also create their own profiles, befriend other little monsters and join discussion boards and chat rooms.



A more intimate version of Facebook, Path is a mobile-only social journalling site that limits you to 150 friends. Once on you can share photos, music and your location with friends. To use Path you'll need to download the app to your iPhone or Android smartphone.


Even more intimate, Pair is a smartphone site for sharing your thoughts, photos and videos with just one other person, usually your other half. You can also draw sketches for each other and, weirdly, virtually press your thumbs together to "thumbkiss". To get started download the free app to your iPhone or Android mobile.


These social networking sites use your location information (usually from the GPS on your smartphone) to find people around you to connect with.


Taps into your Facebook profile (when you sign in) to let you know when friends, or friends of friends, or other Highlight users with similar interests are nearby. The Highlight smartphone app can be downloaded free to your iPhone or Android smartphone.


Another social app that ties into Facebook but more privacy-centric, Circle lets you know when friends or contacts from different "groups", such as your work colleagues or university friends, are around. You can tweak the app's settings to limit what information people can see and how visible you are. Free for Android phones and iPhones.


Banjo doesn't just draw on your Facebook contacts, it also links in with Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram and other networks to show you people near you and what they're saying or doing - based on their posts. For iPhone, Android smartphones, and can also be used online.


Helps you connect with like-minded people in your city or town. Just enter your location to see existing interest groups in your area or to create a new one. There are currently Meetup groups in the major cities such as Auckland and Wellington but few if any in the smaller centres in New Zealand.



An online coffee group for mums worldwide, CafeMom is 11th most popular social networking site in the US. Members can read up on parenting and other topics through the site's blogs and articles, participate in online forums and make friends with and message other mums.


Aspiring artists can share their creations with more than 25 million other members of DeviantArt. Members can also take online tutorials through the site, create profiles and journals and get feedback from the DeviantArt community. More than 160,000 art works including paintings, sculptures and digital art are uploaded to DeviantArt each day.


A social site for dog owners to share pics and anecdotes and discuss all manner of topics related to their precious pooch.


Like Dogster but for cats.


Film buffs look no further, Flixster has all the latest news from the movie world, actor profiles, video clips, forums and quizzes to test your cinematic knowledge. Users can set up their own profiles to rate movies and list their favourites, and find fellow film fans with similar interests.


A New Zealand-based social networking site for people aged 50-up. Members can message friends, read articles and blogs of interest, participate in forums and play online games with other users.


Knitters, crocheters, spinners, dyers and designers can find and share information on pattern and yarn-related topics here. Other members can follow their progress, comment and give advice.

Sources: Tagged, Path, Badoo, Pinterest, Pair, Highlight, Apple, Hawthorne Labs, Banjo, CafeMom, DeviantArt, HowStuffWorks, LiveJournal, Meetup, GrownUps, Ravelry, MySpace, eBizMBA, ABC News, Nielsen.