General Social Network List

A list of friends-based social networks

General social networks, or friends-based social networks, are those that do not focus on a particular topic or niche, but rather put the emphasis on staying connected to your friends. The most popular of these are Twitter and Facebook, but a number of popular friends-based social networks are available, including international ones.

Badoo

Badoo homepage
What We Like
  • Ability to find people based on interests.

  • You can do a livestream to hang out and meet new people.

  • Wider availability of people not based on location.

What We Don't Like
  • Basically a dating site.

  • Some features locked behind a membership.

  • Slightly obtuse interface.

Badoo is one of the most popular international social networks with a large user base around the world. It's available in almost 200 countries and offers options to connect to anyone and not just people within a radius like other dating sites.

It includes the standard "swipe-to-match" feature of sites like Bumble and Tinder. But you can also do more focused searches based on interests and do live chats to connect with other people.

Facebook

Facebook logo and homepage

Carl Court / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Integration with other apps.

  • Contains a built-in gaming platform.

  • Robust messaging, group, and chat options.

What We Don't Like
  • Popular site for spreading false information.

  • Game invites can get annoying.

  • Questionable business practices involving selling users' information.

Originally a social network for college students, Facebook has grown into one of the leading social networks in the world. In addition to networking with friends and co-workers, the Facebook platform allows users to play games with one another and even integrate other social networks like Flixster into their Facebook profile.

Hi5

Social Network List - Hi5
What We Like
  • Focus on social gaming.

  • Some baseline features remain, including sharing photos and interests.

  • Requires users to be 18 or over.

What We Don't Like
  • Has become primarily a gaming site with fewer social options.

  • Friend requests are via emails instead of on-site.

Hi5 is a popular social network with a large international base that gets its name by allowing users to give a high five to other users. These high fives are an emotive tool where you can express happiness, cheer on a friend, or give them a slap on the back.

Myspace

Myspace home page
What We Like
  • Focus on finding and sharing music.

  • Expanded to cover more areas of pop culture.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as popular as it once was.

  • Site has deleted users' blogs without notice.

  • Suffered a massive data breach in 2008.

Long hailed as the king of social networks, Myspace has been steadily losing ground to Facebook over the past year. However, while Facebook has focused on adding utility to the social network, Myspace still reigns supreme in displaying your creative uniqueness, which makes it popular with people who like to decorate their profiles.

Ning

screenshot of NING homepage
What We Like
  • Focused on making your own social network.

  • Option to monetize.

  • Ability to give your network a custom domain.

What We Don't Like
  • More geared to site creators than users.

  • More about website creation than social media.

Ning is like the social network of social networks. Instead of creating your profile and adding friends, Ning allows you to create your very own social network. It's great for workplaces that want to create a small community and families that want to keep up with each other. Learn how to create your own social network on Ning.

Twitter

Twitter bird and logo

Mary Turner / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Ability to mute and block users and individual words you don't want to see.

  • Easy to curate your feed to see what you want.

  • Encourages brevity with character limit.

What We Don't Like
  • Site may show you content (likes, retweets) from accounts you aren't interested in.

  • Moderation system can be opaque and seemingly arbitrary.

  • Full of bots and fake accounts.

More of a micro-blogging service with social networking features, Twitter has become something of a cultural phenomenon. With the ability to receive Twitter status updates on your mobile, Twitter is able to keep people informed and rose to prominence when Barack Obama used it to keep people informed during his 2008 election campaign.

Twitter works via small, individual posts from users whom you can subscribe to. It's easy to use and share tweets. Some changes to how the site works in the past few years have made it possible to see content you didn't subscribe to, but it's easy to mute accounts – or even individual words – if you don't want to see them anymore.