There are relatively few social sites like Facebook that have come close to the sheer popularity of the social media giant, but that's not for a lack of attempts. Here are our top 5 Facebook competitors.
Google Plus is a website like Facebook run by Internet mega-company Google. Similar to Facebook, Google Plus allows you to create a profile for yourself as a user, find friends, and organize them into groups or lists (known on Google Plus as "circles"). It also allows you to see what your friends are up to via the "stream" function, and show appreciation for things with the "+1" button (similar to Facebook's "like" button).
Businesses can also connect with customers via custom pages, and users can start conversations, plan events, and more. And Google Plus can also work with and connect you to many other of Google's services, such as YouTube, Gmail, and Google Drive.
LinkedIn is a site similar to Facebook that has a somewhat specific audience: businesses and businesspeople. Create a profile and list your business credentials, and you'll have your very own virtual resume! Connect with people you know and endorse skills that you know them to be good at, and they might do the same for you!
Find companies that are looking to hire and apply online, or if you own a business yourself, post a job opening and see if anyone wants to fill it. Plus, read and discuss all the latest news about the working world.
If you'd like to learn more about LinkedIn, Techboomers has a LinkedIn Course that you can have a look at.
Ello is a relatively new social network that is designed specifically to be an alternative to Facebook. One of the big things that the people who run Ello didn't like about Facebook (or many other popular social media websites) is that it tracks your activity. What's worse, Facebook then uses that information to plaster advertisements all over the place based on what it thinks you want to see. (We have a Tracking and Sale of Internet Usage Data article that explains in more detail how this is done by Facebook and many other websites.)
Ello promises to fix that by never showing you advertisements, never tracking or selling your usage information, and never requiring you to provide your real name. Ello provides many similar functions to Facebook and other social networks like Facebook, such as following or blocking other users, integrating pictures and videos into your posts, and sharing other people's posts.
Ello is still a work in progress, but you might like its rather no-nonsense design.
Like Ello, Diaspora was designed to be a true Facebook alternative. Its creators shared the same concerns about the structure of Facebook, where everyone's activity could be tracked and used to sell advertising by a single large corporation. Diaspora works differently, by connecting a collection of miniature social networks known as "pods". You can join an existing pod, or create one of your own -- whether it's just for your family, your neighbourhood, your friends, or whoever.
Diaspora allows you to create groups or lists (called "aspects") that allow you to control who sees what you post, and like Twitter, Diaspora allows you to link people or topics to what you post with "mentions" and "hashtags". However, on Diaspora, you don't have to use your real name if you don't want to, and you retain all rights to any content that you post.
Tagged is a bit different from other alternatives to Facebook in that it emphasizes discovering new friends, rather than simply connecting with ones you've already made. You can set up and customize a free profile with a bit about you and what your interests are, and then use many features that are similar to those on Facebook. You can post status updates, upload photos, send and receive private messages, and play games.
You can also see who has visited your profile, sort and rate videos, and send virtual "gifts" to people you like (these gifts can be bought with on-site "gold", which can be purchased with real money or earned through various promotions and games). Tagged also features chat rooms that are categorized by age and mood, so you can join a real-time instant message conversation.
The one thing to note about Tagged is that it's somewhat designed to be about social dating and relationships. However, the majority of its users are a little bit older than they are on other social media websites, usually between the ages of 35 and 50.
Have you used any of these Facebook alternatives? What was your opinion of them? Are there any good ones that we've missed that you think our users would like? Help us help you by telling us more in the comment section below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages!
If you try one of these other sites like Facebook and decide that you want to use it instead of Facebook, check out our How to Delete Your Facebook Account tutorial. It will show you how to disable or delete your Facebook account if you don't want to use it anymore.
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