Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has dominated the rapidly growing world of microblogging, a form of communication that combines blogging and instant messaging. Microblogging services allow users to create very short messages – usually 140 to 200 characters – that are broadcast to friends or followers. 200 million people worldwide use Twitter to keep in touch, generating an average of 65 million tweets daily.
Twitter may have the most users and the furthest reach, but it’s no longer the only game in town. If you’re tired of Tweeting and want to try something new, give your social media marketing plan a fresh perspective – check out some of the top Twitter competitors.
Tumblr is widely recognized as Twitter’s closest competitor. Tumblr is a site known for its functionality and ease of use. In addition to chatting and messaging, users can share a number of different things, such as: text, pictures, video, audio and links. Tumblr has more than 3 million users and is growing at the rate of 15,000 new users each day.
FriendFeed is a feed aggregator that consolidates information from social networking and social bookmarking sites, as well as blogs and microblogs. In addition to aggregating social networking activity into one location, FriendFeed allows users to track these activities as well. FriendFeed reaches over one million people monthly.
Posterous allows you to post things online using email. Posterous accepts any type of file and automatically converts it to the most web friendly format available. Posterous is considered to be the best free application for lifestreaming. No official data is available on the total number of users, but Posterous is said to be gaining several thousand each month.
Identi.ca is a rapidly growing open source social networking and microblogging platform that is available in over 25 languages. Identi.ca users can receive updates from users on other services. And if you don’t like something they’re doing, Identi.ca allows you to take their data and source code and create your own microblogging service.
Plurk is a social networking and microblogging service that was developed to achieve balance between many social networking features we already use, such as blogging and social networking and email and instant messaging. Plurk users submit their updates (called plurks) and links, which are then displayed on a timeline to users who are interested.
Brightkite combines social networking with another social media tool that is rapidly growing – location based social networking. Brightkite allows users to check-in to a particular location and then post notes and updates about their experience there. Brightkite users can connect with their existing friends or meet new people based on the places they visit. Brightkite has over two million users and is great for promoting local businesses and places of interest.
Another location-based social networking service, foursquare allows users to connect by checking in at various locations and sharing their updates on Facebook or Twitter. foursquare makes it fun by awarding points for each check in. You can even work your way up to mayor of a particular venue. foursquare has over 4.5 million registered users. For more on foursquare, check out this recent Green Marketing TV post.
Present.ly is a microblogging service that allows businesses, organizations and other entities to create their own microblogging network. Present.ly is unique from Twitter in that it allows users to create groups and can function almost like an intranet.
Yammer is known as an enterprise social network, or, more informally, Twitter for businesses. Similar to Present.ly, Yammer allows users to create their own microblogging network that only users with the company’s domain name can join. Yammer has more than one million users in over 80,000 companies worldwide.
Finally, if you’re looking for a way to bring all of the above together, look to Ping.fm. Ping.fm is a social networking and microblogging service that allows users to post one update that can then be sent to any and all other social networks they use. Ping.fm divides updates into three groups and lets you choose which group to send to.
Whether you are looking for a way to expand the reach of your current social network, seeing what another service has to offer, or just looking for a practical tool that will allow you to customize a network for your business or organization, one of the microblogging platforms above is bound to add something to your social media marketing plan.
Image Credit: webtreats
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