This was an exciting year for social. About 300,000 apps were added to the Apple AAPL -0.07% App Store. Eighty-five billion apps have been downloaded since October. Instagram’s active use grew by 23 percent. Even Monica Lewinsky became active on Twitter after her compelling speech at the Forbes Under 30 Summit.
As 2015 approaches, techies and social users might begin to wonder, “What’s in store for next year?”
We expect to see a host of new social apps taking the web and mobile by storm. Even current popular apps will partner and grow, so we can all feel a little closer to our networks.
Here are a few up-and-coming social media companies to watch in 2015:
1. Unmetric is a social media analytics and competitive intelligence platform. The platform helps users generate ideas by displaying streams of successful campaigns to see what is resonating with consumers. Rather than taking hours or days to analyze data, Unmetric can analyze your marketing efforts in minutes and compare them to relevant competition. It even provides real-time alerts when content your competition posts is driving more engagement than usual.
2. Kenshoo Social is a platform allowing users to create and manage targeted social marketing campaigns. Considered breakthrough social media technology for elite marketers, Kenshoo Social analyzes data, metrics, and algorithms to detect target audiences, measure performance, and help budget money. Not only that, the platform provides training and certifications through KenshooU as well as a blog with critical consumer trends and insights.
3. Bubbly is a voice-based social media network, allowing users to record voice messages, edit them with effects, and share them on social media. Bubbly was recently acquired by Altruist Group, a company that provides telecom services in Europe, Africa, and Asia, though terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. With 40 million users in Asia and the Middle East, and $39 million raised in investor funding, this company is one to keep an eye on moving into next year.
4. Heard is a social news network that vets sources while preserving anonymity. The platform allows for dynamic, free-flowing social conversations similar to those seen at a party where crowds gather around storytellers, and form and disperse naturally as conversations change. The app uses matching and reputation engines to help content find the right audiences, without users needing to search, follow, or friend others.
5. Frilp is a quick way to receive recommendations from friends and Frilp experts on a product or service you are seeking. This is the perfect app to use when in a new city you aren’t familiar with because you can access the local knowledge of your contacts to recommend hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Frilp finds businesses and services your contacts have used by analyzing your social networks, phone book, and office network. The advantage here is trust. You could either trust the reviews of random people you don’t know on review websites, or call a friend.
6. WeChat is a media-centric messaging app that connects users across platforms.BuzzFeed has recently teamed up with WeChat to deliver top viral content and news to followers. Predicting the future of content sharing lies within messaging platforms; BuzzFeed hopes the preemptive partnership will help lead the shift in the way we share content.
7. Whisper is an online community for sharing secrets. Users are entertained by stories about everything from embarrassing moments to guilty pleasures from anonymous users. The app organizes secrets into categories including confessions, relationships, military, and faith. It even alerts users of trending searches with keywords such as “caught” and “my parents.”
8. Line is more than just a messaging app. Yes, the app does allow free messaging, group chats, and stickers on all smartphone devices and even on a PC. But, users can also connect with popular celebrities, brands, and TV shows to receive exclusive news and coupons only found through Line. The app also allows free real-time voice, video calls, photo, and video sharing with other app users.
9. Space Tag is a breakthrough social media platform that is about to launch. The app allows users to tag specific places and objects leaving notes for themselves or others. The app recognizes any users’ location from the camera on the smartphone. This social network will be a big one fromShopCloud, the Israeli startup behindInside Navigation providing indoor location identification with sub-meter accuracy, using only sensors on a modern smartphone.
10. Quicket is a multi-purpose mobile application that aims to be a one-stop-app for all your travel needs. The app recently launched a Facebook seat check-in that allows users to check out who’s going to be sitting next to them, with an optional link to their Facebook profile. Other features help travelers with everything from booking a flight in less than a minute to selecting a seat on the plane, all in the comfort of one app. Quicket is headquartered in Munich and was developed from what was formerly Jets. The company has raised €1,000,000 from a combination of private investments and venture capital.
11. Meetey is a location-based app that lets you share and enjoy moments happening around you. The network creates a quick and easy way of connecting and engaging with people in the area. Users are also able to share and consume local content in the anonymous mode. Meetey is launching at Web Summit and aims to be the “go-to” app when you want to see what’s happening in your area.
12. Sharewall is a new service that allows readers to access content that would otherwise would be locked behind a paywall by using social sharing as a currency. Additionally, using its recently launched artificial intelligence engine, the startup helps websites offer customized content for readers across three channels: the homepage, newsletters, and social media.
13. Rinbw is an innovative new social app that lets you share short, five-second videos with your closest friends. Rinbw lets users send trivial moments from life that don’t matter to 1,000 followers, but mean the world to your closest friends. The app serves as a video phonebook and helps you start conversations with your contacts.
14. NOKNOK is an anonymous reputation app that tell users how their friends saved them as a phone contact. This provides interesting insight on how we are labeled by friends, family, coworkers, and even romantic acquaintances. With the most recent version of the app, users are able to chat with name givers while they remain anonymous. Users are able to ask them why they labeled them a certain way and who they are.
15. Viber is a pioneering mobile messaging, voice, and video service. Viber lets everyone in the world connect — freely. Users can send free text messages, fun stickers, photos, videos and doodles, share locations anywhere in the world, make free HD-quality calls, and communicate with push-to-talk. Calls are free among Viber users, and low-cost to any other phone number around the world.[via Forbes]