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Hottest Social Networks of 2014



In 2012, Twitter and Pinterest rose to prominence, and Facebook bought Instagram and went public. In 2013, Twitter released Vine and went public, Google+ starting gaining traction, and SnapChat turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook. What will 2014 bring?


1. Google+, Google+, Google+

2014 is going to be all about Google+. Why? For one, Google+ now has more than 300 million active monthly users. That’s more than LinkedIn, more than Pinterest. And, unlike Facebook, which makes you pay to ensure your friends and followers see your posts, Google+ shows ALL of your posts to ALL of your followers … for free! Not only that, but Google+ is tightly integrated with Google search, which means social media and SEO are more closely linked than ever before. In layman’s terms, if you want your site to show up high in Google searches, get active on Google+. Start by buying Guy Kawasaki’s What the Plus!, an easy-to-use guidebook on how to get the most out of Google+ (The first step is to make sure your posts are going to the Public and not just your Circles, a mistake I discovered I’d been making for months!)


2. Ephemeral Apps

2014 will be the year of the vanishing post. After SnapChat CEO Evan Spiegel turned down a $3 billion deal from Facebook, SnapChat became all the rage. SnapChat and its clones Confide, Wink, Clipchat, InstaSnap, Meatspace, and many, many more will allow users to send texts, photos, videos, and animated gifs to friends in privacy, with the confidence that those posts will then vanish, not be archived for the world to view in the days and months to come.


3. Twitter

With more than 645 million users, Twitter is the third largest social network in the U.S. after Facebook and YouTube, and the number one social network used by teens. We’ll be seeing more sponsored tweets in 2014, and more celebrities accepting money to tweet posts to their followers, but Twitter still will be one of the hottest social networks of 2014.


4. Visual Apps

Everyone loves photos. Of the top 10% of most engaging posts in a random sampling of 5000 Facebook pages taken last year, 93% were photos. Only 3% were status updates or links, and 2% were videos. Instagram, owned by Facebook, is the second most popular social network used by teens, with 23% of the marketshare. Pinterest, also visual, is the seventh most popular social network in the U.S, with 70 million users. SnapChat is quickly catching up with an estimated 50 million users, and Days, a new app designed to allow you to group your photos in 24-hour periods to create a visual diary is gaining in popularity. 2013 was the year of the visual app, and that trend will continue throughout 2014.


5. Video Apps

YouTube, owned by Google, is the second largest social network in the world with 1 billion users. Vine, owned by Twitter, has 40 million users, and we’ll be seeing an upswing in other video apps in 2014, like Instagram Video and newcomers like Viddy.



Keep an eye on this new blogging platform launched last year by Blogger and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. It’s no substitute for your own blog, but it’s a great place to expand your audience by blogging about topics that aren’t necessarily relevant to your brand. It’s also a great way to find interesting content about a wide range of topics.


7. Facebook

Although Facebook isn’t the cool kid on the block anymore, it’s still the most ubiquitous social network in the world, with more than 1.3 billion users (That’s 18% of the entire world population!) Unfortunately, I’ve noticed a dramatic drop in the number of followers who see my non-promoted posts—from about 16% to 4%—in the last couple of months. In other words, if I don’t pay hard cash to promote a post on my Facebook Page, only about 80 of my 2025 followers see it. In 2014, that number will decrease even further, and those of us with professional pages will have to pay for every post we want viewed. The solution? Use your personal page for daily posts. Use your professional page only for posts worth paying for…and get active on Google+!


8. LinkedIn

With 259 million users, LinkedIn is still the number one social network for doing business. Post your resume there, upload letters of reference. You’ll be happy you did the next time you’re looking for a job.


9. Up-and-Coming

A few networks to keep an eye on in 2014: Pose, an app for fashionistas; Kleek, an app that lets you build a private social network within Facebook; RunKeeper, an app to track your workouts; Ghost, a beautiful new blogging platform; and NextDoor, a social network for neighbors.


What about you? What is your favorite social network? Which of these new networks entice you the most?

20 comments to Hottest Social Networks of 2014

  • I haven't got hooked on Google Plus, so I avoid it. I've been getting A LOT of likes in the past week on my FB page from readers. None are looking for me on Google Plus. In the case of my FB page, they had to google me to find it. It's just too bad after they like me they won't get to see my posts. Though so far 1/3 do see them (and not everyone checks out FB daily).

    What I found interested is that most of my Twitter followers (or the people I follow) are writers/authors/book blogs.

    • Stina, I love Twitter. But between FB and Google+, I plan to start putting a lot more time and energy into G+. I think others will migrate there, too. (For example, almost all of my family members are on FB but not one is on G+). You have to be on both, but I'm tired of paying $10 every time I want to make sure my followers see my posts. After they went public, they needed to start making money, and they found a way!

  • I agree with your feelings on G+. Once I became active in the communities, especially the WDG (Writers Discussion Group), I found it was a great place to interact. The last few months I've been doing less tweeting, which is strange, as I still have a soft spot in my heart for Twitter.

    I, too, have seen a drop in the reach of my FB author page. Oh well.

    There are a couple you mentioned that I'm not familiar with, so I guess I'll go check them out.

    • Brian, it's one of my New Year's resolutions to get more involved on G+. I always double post FB posts to it, but I rarely interact with anyone and just learned that I've been sending all my posts only to my circles instead of to the public! Doh! I'm also anxious to take part in some of the groups on G+. FB infuriates me. So much time invested into building followers and 3% are seeing my posts. What a waste! It's pretty much all about paid advertising now … and G+ is probably headed that way too.

  • annerallen

    Great overview of the social networks. Google Plus is definitely going to be the place to be, not just because FB is driving customers away with endless new draconian policies, but because presence on Google Plus is becoming essential to your ranking in Google Searches. A post that gets a lot of +1s gets higher in a Google search. I do wish it didn't take so %&*$ long to load, though….

    Good advice to use your personal FB page for most interactions. Just leave the author page for people who Google it. Maybe Kleek will make FB worth using again. I don't know. It mostly infuriates me these days.

    And I'll have to check out Ghost and Medium. I'd never heard of them. Thanks for a great post!

  • Great roundup, Meghan. I'm seeing the same dramatic falloff in my FB fan page which, unfortunately, was a major traffic driver to my blog. And even if I pay to promote a post, I don't get nearly the exposure I used to. So FB is pushing me into the arms of G+. I'm disciplining myself to cross post anything that I put on my FB fan page onto its G+ page too, hoping to see the same kind of engagement arise, but so far, crickets. I know I probably need to put more concerted effort in over there…especially after reading this!

    • Nancy, I used to crosspost to G+. Now I'm going to focus on G+ first and crosspost to FB. Make sure on G+ that you are posting to "Public" and not just your circles. I spent more than a year posting only to my circles without realizing there was another option! It's the first lesson I learned in Kawasaki's book – worth buying the ebook version for a few dollars.

  • Twitter is considered hottest social media but in 2014 I am wondered to see that Facebook is getting more familiar than Twitter and Google + in United States. I myself use G+ and Facebook more than Twitter. Whatever social media you are using the purpose is to share interesting information with your friends and other people but users friendly interface is very important to get more visitors. I think Twitter has a little bit complex interface as compare to G+ and Facebook. By the way it is good to read about hottest social networks and their ratings from the US people.

    • I love Twitter and find it easy to navigate but that's because I've spent so much time on it. I'll get the hang of G+ eventually! I just need a few evenings to discover what it has to offer beyond posting status updates. Glad to hear you are on G+!

  • Oh bummer. Looks like I'll have to get over my aversion to Google+. Thanks for the nudge, Meghan.

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    Well, I am not at all surprised to see what is in the lead. Although I am interested where Tumblr is in all of this. Vine is also gaining traction. I have high hopes for Google+.

    • I never got into Tumblr. I think it's great for people who want to post photos and videos and short snippets of text, but I would find it difficult to manage a WordPress blog AND a Tumblr.

      • I use Tumblr mostly to curate content from other sources. I love it for that. It's a great way to start a themed blog. And it's easy for other Tumblr users to find you.

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