5 potential Facebook killers

Facebook

Remember Empire Ave? How about Hunch? Does Color ring a bell? Those were three of the potential Facebook killers that we identified back in 2011. OK, we might have been a little off. But, undaunted, we’re giving it another go. Outside of the obvious suspects – LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ – who has the potential to unseat Facebook? Here are five possibilities. Tune into this space in 2017 to see if we were right or wrong.

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp

WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and CEO Jan Koum, former Yahoo employees. On Feb. 19, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp boasts 450 million active users per month, 700 million photos shared per day, and 10 billion messages sent per day. WhatsApp is a cross-platform, instant-messaging service for smartphones. It also includes the option to send images, video, and audio media in addition to an integrated mapping feature that targets user locations. It's available on virtually all smartphones. Currently, the app is free to install, then users pay $.99 a year.

Pinterest
Credit: Norebbo
Pinterest

Pinterest has an estimated 150 million unique visitors monthly. Founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra, Pinterest is an online scrapbook or bulletin board where users Pin things they find on the Internet such as images, news, food, recipes, fashion, and events, etc. Users Pin or post these tidbits to Boards, where they can organize and share them. Users can Follow other Pinterest members and/or use the service as a Group bulletin board to plan and organize schedules and events. The site tracks your posts, and then makes suggestions for other items that might interest you.

Tumblr
Tumblr

Tumblr has an estimated 110 million unique monthly visitors. Tumblr was founded in 2007 by David Karp, who is also the CEO. Tumblr is a site where members can share text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos. Tumblr says it has 182.8 million blogs, 83.1 billion posts, and 95.1 million daily posts in 13 languages. In addition to its billboard-style sharing, Tumblr offers several marketing and advertising avenues to its members. The Sponsored Mobile Post is a full-screen of your content on other users' cell phones when they scroll through the Dashboard.

Instagram
Instagram

Instagram has an estimated 85 million unique visitors per month, 200 million actives per month, and 20 billion shared photos (or, on average, 60 million per day). Founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in 2010, Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for approximately $1 billion. Instagram is a photo- and video-sharing social network. The differences between Instagram and the other similar services is (1) the ability to apply digital filters to the photos and videos and (2) the option to share them on other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

Snapchat
Snapchat

Snapchat is a photo messaging app developed by Reggie Brown, Evan Spiegel, and Robert Murphy. It launched in 2011 as 'Picaboo,' then later under the Snapchat name. The company has roughly 26 million users who send about 400 million snaps per day. One of Snapchat's unique features is the option to set a time limit (1 to 10 seconds) on the deadline for the recipients to view the posts or Snaps. Once expired, the Snaps disappear from recipients' phones and the Snapchat servers.

J.D. Sartain is a freelance journalist from Boston. You can reach her viaemail or on Twitter @JDSartain.