9 Niche Social Networking Sites to Check Out

There's a social network for everyone these days

Social Networking
Photo © filo / Getty Images

There's no shortage of social networks to be on these days. But are you on the right ones?

The alternative to the most popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are some of the lesser known niche social networking sites listed below. These are a social networks targeted at a specific audience.

For instance, you could join a social network for staying in touch with family, for networking with business individuals or for connecting with music enthusiasts. By targeting a specific audience, a niche social networking site is able to create an automatic bond between people.

Check out some of these niche social networks that target specific audiences or cater to a special interest.

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Screenshot of BlackPlanet.com

One of the oldest social networks, and the most popular special interest social networking site, BlackPlanet caters to African-Americans. If you can handle all the ads everywhere, this might be a great place to meet other African-Americans.

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Screenshot of Care2.com

Green living beyond just social networking, Care2 offers email, blogging, shopping, and more, all catered to those wishing to live a green life. It's also one of the number one platforms for starting and spreading petitions for good causes.

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Screenshot of Classmates.com

Founded in 1995, Classmates was one of the first social networks on the web and still caters primarily to schools and colleges. It's sort of like going back in time to the earlier version of Facebook before Facebook was for everyone—not just college students. 

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Gaia Online
Screenshot of GaiaOnline.com
A social network with virtual world elements, Gaia Online has an anime, comics, and gaming theme. Members can create their own avatar, earn gold by participating in the network, purchase items in virtual shops, visit virtual towns, and more.
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Well known for being the original social music site before Spotify and all the other streaming apps out there, Last.fm allows members to create their own radio station that learns what the person likes and suggests new music based on those interests. In addition to this, you can listen to the radio stations of friends and other Last.fm members.

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Screenshot of LinkedIn.com

A business-oriented social network, members invite people to be "connections" instead of "friends." You can consider Linkedin to be a contact management system as well as a social network, featuring a resume-like profile, a place to post and apply for jobs, its own blogging platform and lots of extra features for premium members. 

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Screenshot of Meetup.com

A social network with an event organization theme, Meetup allows members to organize anything from political rallies to spontaneous bar hopping. Unlike most other social networks, the goal of this one is to actually meet up with everyone in a physical place on a regularly scheduled basis.

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Screenshot of WAYN.com

An acronym for "Where Are You Now?", WAYN is a social networking site aimed at travelers around the world. This social network spans 196 countries and allows people to make new friends in a new location easily.

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Screenshot of Xanga.com

A social blogging site that combines social networking elements with blogging. Although it's kind of fallen by the wayside in the land of social networking as of recent years, the platform is still used by many and has been updated to be more mobile friendly.

Updated by: Elise Moreau