Yep. Celebrities have completely taken over Twitter. It’s helped Twitter gain traffic, and it’s also helped Twitter become sickeningly mainstream (thanks Ashton and Oprah). But what will the next fad be? Below are some sites that aren’t Twitter, or even Twitter apps, that celebrities could find useful but haven’t overrun just yet.
Many are updates services, because this format seems to be highly useful for celebrities looking to engage their loyal fans. But a few other sites include travel and search features, which could ultimately help celebrities continually build their online brand and persona as well.
12seconds is like Twitter, but it’s for video status updates. Like Twitter, you’re limited in the amount of information you can convey. The idea is to keep it short and sweet, so you get 12seconds. Use your webcam to record your video status update, and spread it around the web.
12seconds has integration with Twitter and several other web apps, so it’s easy enough to redistribute your content. There’s also an iPhone application, so you can send in updates to 12seconds while you’re on the go. The iPhone application can’t yet support video, but a series of photos to accompany your 12 second voice recording will do the trick.
How is it useful to celebrities? We always love to see their faces, don’t we? Can’t you imagine Ashton Kutcher getting a kick out of 12seconds video status updates?
Dopplr is actually an itinerary service that helps you stay organized while you travel, but it’s social in that you can see where your contacts will be as they travel as well. It sounds a little too personal for the celebrity lifestyle, but a series or privacy settings could in fact make Dopplr useful. Celebrities can keep the personal stuff private, but share the pertinent travel information in order to keep fans updated to their whereabouts.
Particularly useful to musicians and others that travel and frequently tour, Dopplr could be the personal touch for promotional purposes that celebrities seek out these days.
Even if the early adopters have begun to lose interest in FriendFeed, this is one social media service that hasn’t yet caught the eye of mainstream users or celebrities. This social media aggregator lets you pour all of your activity across various blogs, social networks and other media sites into one central location. From here, it can be redistributed across other media channels, from RSS feeds to other blogs.
Similar to Twitter, the format of FriendFeed allows you to follow other users, though they don’t have to follow you back in order for you to view their updates. You can respond to others’ posts with comments or the sharing of other links/media, and you can also send direct messages. Unlike Twitter, FriendFeed has groups, which offers more niche community features within FriendFeed. The site also recently added realtime streaming for content pushed through FriendFeed, which ultimately is an effort to create more value through search and filtering on FriendFeed’s site.
One true benefit of FriendFeed is that it can be a very automated process, meaning celebrities can push content through FriendFeed from their various social media channels and not have a second thought about it. Engaging fans from there is just as easy as it is on Twitter.
Another Twitter competitor, Ping.fm is a social media aggregator in its own right. What Ping.fm allows you to do is send out updates and messages to a variety of social media sites from one central location. That includes instant messengers, Twitter, Facebook, iGoogle, LinkedIn, Bebo, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and many more.
For the celebrity on the go, Ping.fm also has mobile integration for easy updates via SMS. The benefit of sending out a single message to several places on the web is the ability to easily manage multiple accounts without having to visit multiple sites. Since launching last year, Ping.fm has added several great features and a wealth of social networks and services that it supports, indicating that this site is seeing a good amount of growth and utilization from members.
One of the newer services on this list, Microsoft Vine is a status update and distribution application designed for alerting members of an emergency. Celebrities may not need to use Vine for this purpose, but the potential of Vine goes far beyond its initial application use case.
As a desktop application, Vine acts as a hub for alerts and other activity, such as location updates and regular status updates. The best use for Vine currently is for families and organizations, but the larger potential for Vine is its seamless integration of location-based features. Having such features come from an established company such as Microsoft may make status + location awareness more mainstream. This could be useful for celebrities for promotional and touring purposes, and may be preferred to a more intimate setting such as Dopplr.
A company that’s still in private beta but has gained a great deal of buzz and has already been acquired by AOL, SocialThing is another social media aggregation service. SocialThing also synchronizes your social media activity, giving the busy celebrity the hands-off approach they need to creating a personable online presence to engage fans and even other celebrities.
The benefit of SocialThing is that through its acquisition, the technology behind the company is being instituted across a number of AOL online properties, including Bebo. We’ve already witnessed some of this potential with Bebo’s recent releases, which debut a streamlines and very social homepage for users. Having direct and seamless integration for other large social networks just adds to the hands-off approach to social media content sharing and redistribution.
Quub is an update service that is still very much under the radar, meaning you’re highly unlikely to find any celebrities here. But should they find out about it, they might find some of its features useful. When submitting an update, Quub asks you three things: where are you, what are you doing, and what else would you like to share with the world? Fill in the blanks Mad-lib style, and you’ve got yourself a status update.
Words and phrases used by other Quub users are floating around the hompeage. Click on any of these if you’d like to steal their ideas, or merely see in semi-realtime what other Quub users are doing. Quub also has public and private messaging, along with groups and acquaintance filters for easy update management.
To be truly useful to celebrities, however, integration with other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook would be necessary. Mobile support is also a must. Luckily Quub has integration with most major social networking sites, with mobile support is in the works.
Lunch is not a social media aggregator but is instead a place where you can become a useful resource to others. This is a site where you can share opinions and facts. This content can be rated by others, and spread further across the web. From there, you can connect with others that are great resources, and further discover content and people that is useful for your purposes.
Lunch features a unique matching system to help you on this discovery path, showing you how you align with each user you come in contact with on the site. This is a helpful way of organizing web content while combining it with people that matter for personalized recommendations.
It’s these personalized recommendations that could very well come in handy for celebrities, as they may want to share facts and media around themselves or each other for the purpose of having an integral web portal that’s semi-branded and useful to others. Unlike fan pages, dedicated websites or wikis, Lunch really does take a unique approach to the sharing of information within a social setting, which ultimately benefits all parties involved. Facebook Connect integration also makes the site more usable and able to readily spread content to one’s specific social graph.
Evernote is great because it’s mobile, among other things. While Evernote is first and foremost a bookmarking tool, recent upgrades and a deeper delve into broader social media is making Evernote an even more handy tool for personal bookmarking and media sharing. With Evernote you can add items to your “digital brain” via email, browser bookmarklet, mobile text messages, phone calls, direct uploads and synchronizations with your computer desktop.
While Evernote’s product can’t be directly utilized for promotional purposes, a celebrity would find it quite useful for merely organizing thoughts, activities and media to be shared at a later date. The search function on Evernote is very nice, extending a very intuitive way in which to parse text from photos, or enabling you to find content based on direct or indirect context. If celebrities are really serious about using social media to its fullest, staying sane and organized is a great way to start. Future updates will make Evernote more social, which could prove increasingly useful to celebrities and the rest of us.
The semantic web is still a somewhat intangible concept, but Twine’s ability to bookmark and add content for the purpose of building an intuitive database is great for celebrities that would like to establish themselves and their information on the web. Similar to Lunch, the idea behind Twine is to organize web data and make it easier to find based on very fluid filters, tag words, users and other search options. The end result is a great discovery tool that can provide users with a wealth of information at their fingertips.
Celebrities may not always need to perform such searches, but they would do well to use a service like Twine to aggregate relevant information about themselves, in order to make it available to fans. Twine too is becoming more and more integrated with various aspects of social media, so adding content to Twine and spreading Twine content across the web is becoming an easier task. The easier a celebrity can have their content spread across the web, the better it is for them in the long run.