Facebook alternative – 10 Private Social Networks

You’re sick of all the mainstream social networks. The constant baby pictures, your oh-so-in-love couple friends, your creepy co-worker who Likes every single one of your photos.

If you want to trim down your social networking, or if you would rather not friend your Aunt Josephine or your boss on Twitter and Facebook, consider switching to a more private network.

These 10 private social networks ensure you always have a space to share photos, collaborate on a group project for work or school, or organize a carpool to this week’s neighborhood softball game.

1. Everyme

Image courtesy of Apple

Like Google+, Everyme sorts your contacts into circles, allowing users to share content with one or more circles at a time. While the Everyme app isn’t as beautiful as the Google+ app, its simple UI means even your technologically-challenged mom or iPad-wielding grandma can easily keep in touch. For those concerned with privacy, Everyme promises your data belongs to you and you alone, with the option to export or delete your data at any time.

2. 23Snaps

For parents who can’t resist the urge to post baby pictures, meet 23Snaps. Instead of spamming your Facebook News Feed, users can upload those 37 pictures of Timmy eating an ice cream cone, and share with those friends and family who truly want to see. Since the app is available across multiple platforms for smartphone, tablet and PC, your pictures will reach any screen. And for tech-shy family members, print a photo book of your pics, starting at $23.99.

3. Notabli

Like 23 Snaps, Notabli allows users to privately share photos and videos of their children with other family members, with the added benefits of audio, text messages and drawings. Since the app is private by default, unless shared with another user, parents don’t need to worry that strangers are peeking into their family’s life. Another benefit to Notabli? Adding a second parent to the account, allowing for seamless tag-team updating.

4. Nextdoor

Want to get the word out about the block party next week, or ask the neighborhood for help searching for your lost puppy? Get on Nextdoor. The network promises an easy way to keep in touch with the people who live near you, whether for social (finally meeting that hot guy next door) or security reasons (alerting your neighbors about a local break-in). This social media network is one of the most complicated to join; you need to verify your address by either submitting a phone number or credit card number, or by mailing back a postcard.

5. Yammer

How many different methods of communication are used in your office? Gchat? Email? Twitter? Simplify your intra-office chit chat with Yammer. While some features, like “Praise,” are a little too hokey for the office crowd, inbox aggregation across instant messaging, @mentions and announcements, as well as the ability to form groups to work on projects, ensure productivity for all.

6. Couple

No need to criticize couples-only social networks. If it stops them from professing their undying love all over our News Feeds, we’re totally fine with Couple (the app formerly known as Pair). The site allows users to send private messages, photos, drawings and even “thumbkisses” (in which both parties press their thumbs to the same part of the screen to make the phone vibrate). Couple reached 1 million users this year — that’s a lot of thumbkissing.

7. Path

Path is a private social network that allows users to share information with up to 150 of their closest friends. Unlike Facebook, which uses an algorithm to determine which stories you are most likely to interact with (and therefore which stories show in your News Feed), Path keeps your friend count small; therefore, it displays all your friends’ posts in chronological order. Instead of a huge following with no interaction, Path hopes to put the socializing back in social media by limiting you to a “micronetwork.”

8. FamilyWall

Having a hard time keeping your family’s schedule coordinated? Are your son and daughter ignoring your Facebook friend request? Try FamilyWall, the social networking site dedicated to families. In addition to sending text, video and audio messages and sharing photos, users can share their phone’s location (perfect for keeping an eye on teens) and keep track of important family events on a shared calendar.

9. Edmodo

If you’re depressed that your algebra teacher still hasn’t accepted your friend request, try Edmodo. Designed for use in education, Edmodo teachers can create pages for each class and post to all students at once, or individually. Teachers can control student chatter on the main classroom page by removing student posting privileges, while still keeping a one-on-one online dialogue open to each individual. But perhaps the most useful tool for many students is the backpack, where students can upload files of school projects, for additional access at home. An app component ensures no student will forget to study for tomorrow’s quiz once he or she has left school.

10. Photocircle

Instead of individually texting every single one of those photos from your hilarious beach weekend, try Photocircle. Users simply put their phones together in a circle (pretending you’re on Captain Planet is totally optional, but fun), link up, then start taking pictures. Users can also be added remotely by clicking on a shared link sent in an email or text message.

Have your very own social network you and your friends love? Think private micronetworks are lame? Planning to ditch Facebook for Path? Let us know in the comments below.

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