The internet has revolutionized the way people search for information, interact and connect, and social media is in the thick of it. Still in its infancy this rapidly expanding technology has probably become the most important thing to happen to the Internet since Google introduced its massively popular search engine back in the mid 90’s.
To honor the nerdy tradition of pitting superheroes against one another to see who’d emerge as a winner in a one on one showdown, we’re pitting the heavyweights of social media in a prize fight to see who can have the bragging rights of being called champion.
Not only has Facebook experienced phenomenal expansion in the past 10 years, but the drama surrounding its meteoric rise has also inspired a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Apart from the usual commenting on posts and sharing of multimedia content, Facebook offers its users the ability to search for friends, start an instant messaging conversation complete with video conferencing and inbox messages.
An interesting feature that is still in its beta phase is Graph Search. This particular functionality will allows individuals to get personalized direct answers to natural language questions like “my friends who like mountain biking” instead of getting web search results like those found on Google search.
Another app that is quickly becoming a fan-favorite is Facebook Home. Currently aimed at Android based smartphones, Home replaces the default home screen of the smartphone with a personalized Facebook home screen that immediately shows notifications and updates as soon as the phone is unlocked, along with the ability to launch apps.
However, not all is sunshine and rainbows in the land of Facebook. The social media spy looking into the scene will tell you that it has seen its fair share of controversies particularly concerning their privacy policies. After receiving backlash for the news feed which shared information with non-friends, cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote an open letter to apologize for “not building the proper privacy controls right away”.
The website responsible for making the “Like” button a pop culture phenomenon might land in hot water every now and then but it continues to expand and evolve. The company just recently surpassed a staggering one billion users. Nuff said!
Cofounded by Jack Dorsey, this San Francisco based micro blogging service has rapidly gained popularity among the masses. Twitter offers a unique social networking experience for those who’re always on the go and have just enough time to share a quick thought or two. The RSS feed displays the most recent information and can be personalized according to your needs.
Even though tweeting itself is a fairly simple ordeal, the service, however, has plethora of third party apps which provide advanced functionality like dashboard to manage all social media networks in one place and analytics to stay informed about your friends activities across social media platforms. These include Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Metro Twit and Buffer to name a few.
With celebrities and public figures preferring to use Twitter to interact with their fans and over half a billion users under its belt this popular micro blogging site is a top contender to dethrone Facebook from the number one position.
Pinterest has quickly become a household name in a relatively short amount of time. Established just 3 years ago by Ben Silbermann; this social media website, or virtual pinboard to be exact allows users to collect and pin images that interest them onto a wall and share them with the world.
Named one of the best startup companies of 2011 by the prestigious Time magazine, Pinterest is surely but steadily gaining momentum and currently boasts a user base of over 20 million followers.
The battle to the top is fierce and with each of the above mentioned website offering just a little bit more than the other it remains to be seen who’ll triumph towards the end. As the internet continues to evolve so do these websites. Let’s see what they’ll look like five years down the road.
Natalia David is a tech writer; her interest in the field has made her an expert in technology-related subjects. She has written several articles on the development, news, social network spy and trends in the tech world. She can be reached @NataliaDavid4