We all know Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, but the world of social networks is a lot wider and deeper than you may imagine. There have always been apps and online communities for every interest you can think of, and many of them are now maturing or starting life as sophisticated social media platforms.
Special interest groups can be created and accessed within the main pages, and social casinos are a great example of this. Superb versions of pokies and all your other favourite casino games can be played on social media platforms, and almost all activity currently takes place on Facebook. You can socialise and connect with your friends to play with them, which is almost impossible to do in conventional online and mobile casinos.
Many communities have taken things even further and launched their own social media pages that, while obscure, have attracted considerable interest and traffic. There are plenty of obscure social networks out there; some that make sense and some that are simply bizarre. The list here is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of the breadth and depth of niche social networks today.
A Shared Connection
Let’s start off with a few of the more normal niche networks; these have a dedicated area of interest but the area in question is always pretty mainstream. With functionalities that enable chat, messaging, picture posting and other activities, these are fully-fledged social media pages that allow enthusiasts to indulge in their love of good books, baking, knitting, cats and dogs with Goodreads, BakeSpace, Ravelry, Catster and Dogster respectively.
Brony: Bros Into My Little Pony
That’s right; Brony is a social media network dedicated to adult men who are fans of the My Little Pony toys and franchise. This very specific community is larger than you think, and Brony describes itself as a site to “find other bronies, pegasisters and ponyfans online”. You can view and post art of your favourite ponies or characters that you create, make new friends with like-minded enthusiasts, participate in My Little Pony-related opinion polls and get all the latest news on the show. If you’re a brony or a pegasister that has always longed to be understood, this community is perfect for you.
The current global obsession with all things vampire-related is taken to new heights with this social media network, which has well over 1,7 million members. Rather than simply being able to gush over Bella and Edward if you’re a Twilight fan, VampireFreaks gives a voice to the industrial goth culture. You can read members’ journals or join a sub-group, called a “cult” on the site, such as MOD and Hogwarts, as well as messaging and chatting with like-minded individuals.
A Dating Site for Mullet Lovers
Mullets: you either love them or hate them. If you’re a fan of this very specific hairstyle, you can join Mullet Passions, a dating and social network that brings you into contact with others who have “the taste and style to appreciate these unique trendsetters”. Browse the Mullet Groups section to find individuals who all have the same style of mullet, or search for members who, in addition to a mullet passion, harbour great love for monster trucks, wrestling or country music. “Must love mullets” may not be as common a requirement in a partner as “must love dogs” is, but if that’s the way you feel, this is the social network for you.
Stand in Line for Heaven
As technology seeps into every area of life, there have been some interesting digital communities that have sprung up around religion and spirituality. LineforHeaven takes what could be termed a common interest in the afterlife and makes it into a kind of social game. Once you’ve created your profile and uploaded a photo, your virtual soul will appear in the line to get into heaven. You can get ahead in this ultimate queue by earning karma points, which are awarded when you support charities, confess sins, bless others on the site and, of course, spread the message further and recruit new members.
Facebook for the Underground Family
Juggaloobook is interesting in that it started out as a fan site for the band Insane Clown Posse. Now it is a place where violent and strung-out members of the “underworld family” can meet, and more than 10,000 of them are signed up to do just that. The structure of the site is based completely on Facebook, and offers many of the same features, but with different language. Rather than liking something, for example, you’d “whoop whoop”, and male and female gender identities are replaced by Juggaloo and Juggalette identities.
Juggaloobook is fascinating to explore, as many of these social networks are, and it really does seem that these days, there is a community for just about everyone - no matter how bizarre their interests!