2010 was a year chock full of social networking competition. From Facebook’s meteoric rise to number one, to the popularity of picture sharing sites and Twitter, it seems like almost everyone is a member of at least one social networking site.
Beyond just carbon copies of Facebook or Twitter, there are a whole new slew of start-ups out there for specific social networking needs.
For example, some people choose to put photos of Picassa or Flickr rather than Facebook simply because these services are so much more customizable. Other choose to share pictures on the retro Instagram.
Social networkers get choosyBut with so many social networking choices, users are not choosing one over the other, but combining multiple sites to create an online persona in pictures, video, and network.
Of course, by utilizing more than one site, users are forced to bet their own PR managers.
They are forced to ask themselves, am I oversharing? Should I maybe not share a certain link with my thousands of online followers?
People have what they call their public personas on Twitter, choosing what pictures and details are OK for public consumption.
Perhaps this is why there’s always such a strong emphasis on Facebook privacy, mostly because people use the social network as their private way to share with friends in a more intimate way.
There is also a growing push towards privacy and one-on-one communication, rather than the public oversharing of the past decade.
Within Facebook, users are forming private groups where friends can talk privately without the prying eye of friends. Groups is a good solution for those that have felt socially obligated to friend bosses and employees.
Private communication tools like GroupMe, FastSociety, Beluga, and of course, Blackberry Messenger, are offering private ways to chat with designated contacts, rather than shouting public statements through Facebook and Twitter.
Clearly, the competition between social networks is good for users.
To be sure, it allows us to hand pick which tools we want to use for our specific needs. Whether it’s high resolution photo sharing on Flickr, or the very public Twitter, 2011 will be a year marked with even more social networking choices.