6 Niche Social Media Networks Changing the Ways We Connect, Collaborate and Discover New Opportunities
However, such rapid growth comes with its own set of challenges. From fake news to data breaches and an incredibly crowded marketplace, sometimes it feels like these platforms are simply so big that the companies can't even control them. Of course, that doesn't mean they're slowing down any time soon. In fact, their rampant growth is actually helping pave the way for other, more effective digital platforms.
These niche social media platforms are tailored specifically to certain groups of people or industries, offering a more personalized approach to connecting with others who share common interests and goals, in addition to discovering new opportunities and receiving curated content.
"The key here is finding the right platform that allows the user to cut through the noise to achieve their intended goal," says Anis Bennaceur, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Mixer, a private network for creatives. "No two industries are created alike. Different user needs require different social ecosystems for professionals to connect, engage and collaborate."
From Mixer to SERMO, a network for doctors, and Spiceworks, for IT professionals -- more and more niche networks are appearing, each with the intention of offering an easier way to connect with the right people and access the right information. To learn more, here are six niche social media networks.
AngelList is a niche network geared towards connecting startups and angel investors. After a person or company applies and is accepted, they can begin "swiping right" or "swiping left" on investors or startups.
However, getting accepted might be easier said than done. With an average 1 to 2 percent acceptance rate of startups, AngelList carefully monitors who is allowed to use its platform. Once accepted, a startup is provided a carefully curated list of recommended investors based on market, stage and location. Companies can also search for investors using filters, funding types, activity and more. Investors are also provided the opportunity to filter through startups.
ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to connect, share research, ask questions and collaborate on projects. It boasts more than 15 million users worldwide.
Like Mixer and AngelList, ResearchGate also has a strict vetting process for applicants, requiring scientists to sign up using their institutional email addresses or undergo an individual process to prove their research activity. In the scientific industry, there's a strong commitment to uncover information and research for the greater good of humanity, which is why ResearchGate's mission is "to connect the world of science and make research open to all." Launched by a group of scientists, the platform not only seeks to help connect scientists from around the world, but provide them an online place to share publications and data, find out who has been citing their work, ask questions, post discussions and find new opportunities.