15 Lesser Known Social Media Platforms & Apps To Have On Your Radar

Published Date 2023-01-31

Written by Circles.Life

Social media platforms are an integral part of modern communication and have transformed the way we interact with each other and access information.

The rise of social media can be traced back to the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the launch of blogging platforms and early social networking sites such as LiveJournal, Xanga, and MySpace. In the mid-2000s, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn began to gain widespread popularity, and by the late 2000s, these platforms had become mainstream and were being used by millions of people around the world.

There’s no doubt about it—social media apps are now in their heyday. Whether you’re looking for an app for casual chatting, something based around content creation, or anything in between, you are sure to find something that suits your individual needs and preferences.

Here are some of the lesser known social media trends and platforms to have on your radar today.

With Circles.Life data plans, you can explore all these platforms seamlessly, ensuring you stay connected always.

1. Twitch

Launched: 2011

Twitch is a live streaming platform primarily used for video game streaming, but it also includes music, talk shows, and creative content. Launched over a decade ago, it has since become one of the largest live-streaming platforms in the world, with millions of active users and hundreds of thousands of streamers.

It's available as a web platform and as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. To use Twitch, users can create a free account and start streaming or watching live streams. Streamers can use the platform to broadcast their gameplay or other content to their followers, and viewers can watch live streams and interact with streamers through a built-in chat feature.

In addition to live streaming, Twitch also offers a range of features for streamers, including tools for managing and growing their channels, custom emotes, and the ability to earn revenue through subscriptions, donations, and ads.

Twitch is primarily focused on gaming and entertainment, but it is also used by educators, artists, and other content creators. It is owned by Amazon and is available in multiple languages.

2. Discord

Launched: 2015

Imagine a place where you can belong to a school club, gaming group, or art community—where you and your group of friends can spend quality time together. In the words of the platform itself, that’s Discord.

Discord is a communication platform designed for online communities, particularly gamers. It can be accessed through the web or via mobile for iOS and Android devices. It allows users to create and join voice and text chat channels and offers a range of features for communication and community building. These features include voice and video calling, screen sharing, and the ability to create and join servers, which are dedicated spaces for specific communities or groups.

The platform also offers a range of tools and integrations for communities. These include support for custom emotes, integrations with popular games and services, and the ability to create and manage roles and permissions within a server.

While Discord is primarily used for gaming and entertainment, it also attracts educators, artists, and other content creators. It's available in multiple languages and is free to use, with optional paid subscription tiers that offer additional features and benefits.

3. Snapchat

Launched: 2011

Snapchat is hardly new to the social media landscape but is currently enjoying a second round in the spotlight. After experiencing rapid growth in the early 2010s, Snapchat faced intense competition from other social media platforms, particularly Instagram, which introduced similar ephemeral messaging features and became a major rival to Snapchat. As a result, Snapchat's user base and revenue growth slowed in the late 2010s.

In recent years, however, Snapchat has reentered the scene, thanks in part to the pandemic-induced increase in social media usage and the launch of new features and products that have helped to differentiate the platform from its competitors.

In 2021, Snapchat reported strong growth in revenue and user engagement. It has continued to expand and innovate, with the launch of new features such as Snap Map and Snap Games and the acquisition of companies such as Fit Analytics and WaveOptics.

The multimedia messaging app allows users to send and receive photos, videos, and other media that are ephemeral, meaning they disappear after being viewed. Snapchat also offers a range of features for communication and social interaction, including text and voice messaging, video calling, and the ability to create and share Stories, which are collections of photos and videos that are visible to a user's followers for a limited time.

4. Patreon

Launched: 2013

Patreon allows creators to receive recurring funding from their supporters or "patrons." It was launched as a way for artists, musicians, writers, and other creators to receive ongoing financial support from their fans and has since become a popular platform for creators in a wide range of fields.

On Patreon, creators can create profiles and set up "membership" tiers, which offer different levels of access and perks to their patrons in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. Patrons can choose the membership tier that they want to support and can cancel or change their support at any time.

Creators on Patreon use the platform to fund a variety of projects and activities, including the creation of new art, music, writing, and other content. Patreon takes a percentage of the funds raised by creators and provides them with tools and resources to manage their membership programs and communicate with their patrons.

5. Instagram Reels

Launched: 2020

Instagram Reels is a feature on the Instagram app that allows users to create and share short, 15-second video clips set to music or other audio. Reels was introduced in August 2020 as a response to the popularity of TikTok, a short-form video app that had become widely popular around the world.

To create a Reel, users can record and edit a video using Instagram's in-app camera, adding music, text, and other effects to their videos. Reels can be shared on a user's profile or on the Reels tab of the Instagram Explore page, which curates Reels from a variety of users and accounts.

Reels are used by diverse creators, including celebrities, influencers, and everyday users. It has also been used as a marketing tool by businesses and brands, who can use Reels to showcase their products and services and engage with their followers.

Check out this list of the top Australian celebrities and influencers on Instagram to see how creators are using the platform to make waves today!

6. YouTube Shorts

Launched: 2020

If you love TikTok, you’ll also love YouTube Shorts, a feature on the YouTube app that allows users to create and share short-form videos. YouTube Shorts was launched in September 2020 with the goal of helping YouTube to compete in the short-form video space.

To create a Short, users can record and edit a video using the YouTube app. Shorts can be shared on a user's channel or on the YouTube Shorts tab, which, like Instagram Reels and TikTok, displays Shorts from a variety of users and channels based on the type of content users have previously interacted with.

YouTube Shorts is used by everyone from celebrities to stay-at-home moms. It is also used by brands for marketing purposes and has proven to be a highly effective tool when it comes to getting products and services in front of large audiences.

7. Telegram

Launched: 2013

Telegram is a messaging app that was developed in 2013 by Russian entrepreneurs Pavel and Nikolai Durov. It is available on a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, and desktop, and is known for its focus on privacy and security.

One of the main features of Telegram is its end-to-end encryption, which ensures that messages and calls are secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties. Telegram also offers a range of other security features, such as the ability to create secret chats, which can be set to self-destruct after a certain amount of time, and password-protected chats.

The app is also known for its fast and reliable messaging and its support for large groups and communities. It allows users to create groups of up to 200,000 members and offers a range of tools for managing and moderating these groups.

Telegram has become popular with a wide range of users, including individuals, businesses, and organisations. It is available in several languages and is free to use, with optional paid subscription tiers that offer additional features and benefits.

8. BeReal

Launched: 2020

BeReal is a photo-sharing app that is currently available for iOS and Android devices. Every day at a different time, users are notified to share a photo in two minutes, offering a unique way for people to learn more about their friends and what their day-to-day lives look like.

Developed by ex-GoPro employees Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau, BeReal started gaining widespread popularity in 2022, thanks largely to a paid ambassador program. The app now has millions of users and continues to receive funding for further development.

The app has become especially popular among the teen crowd, as it encourages users to be themselves and capture their life experiences spontaneously and without filters. When users take a BeReal, photos are taken with the front and back cameras of their phones. This allows for greater perspective.

9. Polywork

Launched: 2020

Polywork is a social platform dedicated to the facilitation of professional partnerships. It helps users to find opportunities for collaboration, allowing them to collaborate on projects, speak on podcasts, aid in app testing, and more. As the platform puts it, “you’ll never be bored again.”

Polywork makes it easy for users to find collaborators based on their desired criteria. For example, you can search for product designers open to partnering on side projects or software engineers that are looking to test beta projects. Users can also set their own profiles to be open to certain tasks, such as mentoring or speaking.

In many ways, Polywork functions similarly to LinkedIn but with the ultimate goal of connecting users for short-term partnerships rather than long-term career placements. The platform’s help centre may be particularly useful to those that are just getting started with Polywork and are looking for some tips and guidance.

10. Applaudable

Launched: 2022

Looking to filter out some of the toxicity from your regular social media apps? Then look no further than Applaudable, a recently-launched platform designed for story sharing and, as the name suggests, applauding those that are working to make the world a better place.

Users can share positive experiences and see how those experiences impact others on the platform. Whether you’re looking to share a good book or a delicious new recipe you tried, you can inspire others and get people talking about the things they care about.

To join, you must receive an invitation from an existing user who recognizes you in their story.

11. Supernova

Launched: 2021

Supernova bills itself as “the social network that gives back,” and for a good reason. The app, currently available through the App Store and Google Play, donates part of its advertising income to charities chosen by users. What’s more, Supernova moderates around the clock to foster a kind, inclusive community.

The platform allows users to track their impact, seeing how much has been raised for different causes. While Supernova is still relatively new in the social media space, it has the potential to transform the way users interact online.

12. Sunroom

Launched: 2022

Built specifically for women and nonbinary people to “make bank and build a successful fanbase,” Sunroom empowers creators to get their content out there. The platform’s manifesto emphasises “shameless, unfiltered self-expression” and encourages users to monetize their products and the value they bring to their audiences.

With Sunroom, users can preserve their personal brand and authenticity while leveraging a progressive platform designed to facilitate creativity. You can monetize according to your own needs with recurring monthly subscriptions, tips, and more.

13. Superlocal

Launched: 2022

Superlocal is a social network platform that allows users to earn rewards for keeping up with their friends and exploring the world. The app encourages users to get out and go places, checking in at local shops and restaurants, which earns them Superlocal Points. These points can be redeemed for various items.

You can also collect Mayorships that prove your enthusiasm for your favourite cities, restaurants, and other locations. When people visit your major locations, you can earn royalties. This not only encourages users to share their outings in a fun, creative way, but gives back to them in the form of real-life rewards.

14. Pearpop

Launched: 2020

Pearpop is a content creation and collaboration app that helps creators earn a living, allowing them to collaborate with leading brands such as Netflix, Amazon, and Universal. With Pearpop you can unleash your creativity. The more successful your content, the more you have the potential to earn.

In addition to regular content creation, users can enter special challenges that align with their specific content. This is a great way for creators to get their content in front of more people—and make money along the way.

15. Clubhouse

Launched: 2020

Described by HootSuite as a type of call-in radio show for the 21st century, Clubhouse offers audio-based chat rooms where users can listen to and participate in discussions around topics that interest them. Clubhouse makes it possible for people to meet each other and bond over shared interests. It offers a private space where users can get together and allows them to hop easily from room to room.

Clubhouse can currently be downloaded via Google Play and the App Store.

Why you should join new social communities in 2023 and beyond

Now is a great time to think about diversifying your social media presence. Innovative and exciting platforms are popping up everywhere, and it’s a good idea to explore what’s out there—especially if you’re a content creator or marketer whose success depends on connecting with others in the digital space. Here are some of the reasons you might consider joining a new social platform in the coming year.

Whether you're streaming or watching, do it uninterrupted with Circles.Life’s robust data plans.

Personal Growth Opportunities

One benefit of joining online social communities is the opportunity for personal growth. These communities grant access to a wealth of information and resources that can help individuals learn new things and expand their knowledge. For example, a community focused on a particular topic can provide access to expert advice, tutorials, and tips. This can be particularly valuable for individuals looking to pursue a new hobby or develop their existing skills in a specific area.

Social Interaction

Another advantage of getting involved with social media apps and platforms is increased social interaction. Because these communities allow individuals to connect with others who share similar interests and experiences, individuals that feel isolated or lonely offline may find a sense of belonging and support online. Social communities provide a safe and welcoming space for individuals to express themselves and share their thoughts and feelings in a way that they might not be able to in real life.

Advice and Encouragement

Online social communities can also be a great source of support and encouragement. Members of these communities can offer advice, encouragement, and support to one another, which can be particularly valuable during difficult times. Additionally, many online social communities provide resources and support for individuals facing specific challenges, such as mental health issues or financial struggles.

Staying up to date with the latest digital trends

Finally, joining online social communities can be a great way to remain up to date on current events and trends. Whether you’re interested in reading the news, learning about some of the current mobile phone trends and how people are using their devices in today’s world, or anything in between, you can find the information you’re looking for on social media.

Of course, as our parents have drilled into our heads, not everything we read online is true, but getting involved with social networks is a great way to see what others are talking about. You might then conduct your own research to learn more about specific topics from verified sources.

Understanding online safety

While there are many benefits to joining social media platforms, it’s important to keep some basic safety tips in mind. First, you should know how to personalise your privacy settings. This process looks different for each platform, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with how each platform handles privacy. It’s also important to know how to block and filter content and turn off geolocation when it’s unnecessary.

How to avoid digital overload on social media

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When using social platforms, you should also try to avoid doom-scolling the news and falling prey to digital overload, which happens when you get bombarded by digital information. The consequences of digital overwhelm range from being overwhelmed offline to absorbing false information that can negatively impact your personal or professional life. As such, it is vital to take a step back from the screen from time to time and reevaluate your digital habits. Here are some key tips for avoiding digital overload in today’s media-saturated world:

1. Get out and engage with the real world every so often.
2. Take a break from your phone or computer
3. Avoid letting the social swamp swallow you
4. Get a good night’s rest
5. Don’t drink too much caffeine

As conventional wisdom goes, everything is in moderation. By incorporating some basic digital safety tips into your social media browsing routine and avoiding digital overload, you can benefit from getting involved in social network platforms like the ones mentioned previously.

Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so why not join the (online) party?

Whatever the extent of your browsing needs, Circles Life has got you covered. We offer SIM-only plans from 5GB to 100GB per month, so whether you’re a casual user or a creator knee-deep in social media daily, you can find something that fits your lifestyle and budget. Our plans offer lots of data for endless scrolling, snapping, talking, texting, and more, making us the perfect partner for your social endeavours—whatever those happen to be.

Experience unlimited possibilities with Circles.Life and elevate your digital journey today!

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Published Date 2023-01-31

Written by Circles.Life

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