We've now taken a look at major social media platforms that host millions of users worldwide. But what about ways to connect with smaller groups of people around a common interest or lesser known topic? Let's take a look at some of the social media platforms that focus on specific niches. And as we'll see there seems to be a social media platform for every kind of interest out there. Let's start with Twitch, a live streaming platform for the gaming community. Twitch began in June 2011 and is the place to find live streamed video game competitions, and individual gamer streams, and tutorials. Because of the nature of the platform, Twitch really has two user groups. Its 3.8 million unique broadcasters and its 144 million audience. To make it even more interactive, the streamer and viewers share a live chat on the screen. Today Twitch is beginning to grow beyond its gaming roots to include user made entertainment on all kinds of topics. Businesses have the opportunity to advertise on the site or sponsor competitions. Next is a social media platform for visual artists called DeviantArt, which has been around since August 2000. Considered the largest art community in the world with 48 million members worldwide, DeviantArt is a place for artists to share their work. And to date has featured 370 million pieces on its platform. From paintings to sculptures to pixel art and anime. Members can like or comment on different pieces and follow artists and their work. Businesses have the ability to create art challenges or work with influencers to leverage their brands. Tumblr is a blogging site that allows users the ability to create blogs not just with words, but it photos, GIFs, links, memes, cartoons, fan art, and more. Users can re-blog posts, like, or comment, and follow other blogs. Tumblr was founded in 2007 and today has over 50 million blogs on its platform. Businesses are able to purchase sponsored posts much like on Twitter and Pinterest and have the option for platform takeovers as well. Medium is another blogging platform that focuses on, as they say, readers, writers, and the insatiably curious. Medium was launched in 2012 and reads like an online magazine where users can write short and long form articles on topics ranging from marketing, to personal finance, to travel, to science, and more. Medium contributors range from no name writers to famous influencers like Barack Obama. Readership has grown to 120 million readers. And writers are able to partake in a partner program where they get paid when readers read their posts. Businesses have discovered Medium to be a great place to host their blogs, which can then drive traffic to their websites. GitHub founded in 2008, is the platform for coders, developers, and engineers. Focused less on the social aspect of social media and more on connecting over projects and initiatives, GitHub is an interactive space where its 50,000,000 developers share their work, can help each other build code, and collaborate on each other's projects. 2.9 million businesses use GitHub as well to attract coders to help build new initiatives for them. While GitHub does not offer advertising, businesses can connect with developers through professional collaboration. Similar to GitHub is Stack Overflow, also founded in 2008 and part of the stack exchange network. Stack Overflow is a community for developers and programmers that focuses around questions and answers. Its over 100 million users ask questions that other users answer and answers can be upvoted depending on their helpfulness. Users can also win badges for their contributions. Businesses are able to cultivate their authority and expertise by offering answers or by advertising. Businesses can also post job openings for the developers and programmers in the community. Another question and answer social media platform is Quora, founded in 2009. Quora covers a vast array of topics from business to science to writing, to travel. And its over 300 million users post questions about those Topics or answer questions others have posted. Users can personalize their feed to see topics they are interested in, and contribute their knowledge to the discussion boards. Users can also upvote the best answers. Businesses can get involved as well either through answering questions to build their credibility, or through sponsored posts. Probably the most well known sites that functions as a question and answer format is Reddit founded in 2005. Its 430 million monthly active users or Redditors are able to join specific community forums, over 130,000 of them and post questions, observations, stories, or videos that other users can then respond to. Users can upvote responses and can earn higher scores for better answers. Businesses can get involved by adding sponsored ads or jumping into discussions. Another site that focuses on the tech community is Product Hunt. A tech E-Commerce site/discussion board company founded in 2014. On Product Hunt users submit products or services and other members are able to like or upvote those products. Products range from pitch decks to Chrome extensions to websites to apps. Businesses and particularly startups use it to gain visibility for their new products. Next is Goodreads a social media platform for readers where they can connect over the books they've read. Launched in 2007 Goodreads has over 90 million members who track what they've read in a virtual bookshelf, write book reviews, make reading lists, and discuss the books they love with the other members. 2.6 billion books have been added to the Goodreads platform and users can follow other users' accounts to get ideas for their next read. Authors use this site to connect with readers and publishers use the site to give away advanced reader copies, and engage with audiences around new releases. Another social platform like Goodreads only for films is Letterboxd, launched in 2012. Letterboxd offers users the chance to track and review the films they've watched, follow other users for movie suggestions, create watchlists, and chat about films they've seen. Letterboxd also provides information on which streaming service you can find certain movies on as well. Letterboxd has 1.5 million users interacting on their platform. Businesses that want to target film buffs can advertise on the site. Let's look at a social media platform based around people wanting to get healthier. MyFitnessPal, launched in 2005 is a calorie and fitness tracker that can help people lose weight, eat better, and live a healthier lifestyle. With 180 million users MyFitnessPal also offers a community forum where users can follow each other and comment on each other's progress. There are also group discussions, recipe sharing, and fitness challenges. Businesses looking to target to health and fitness market can find a perfect audience on MyFitnessPal. You wouldn't necessarily think to use a social media platform to connect to real life people around you but Nextdoor allows you to do just that. Nextdoor, launched in 2011 is a social media platform for neighbors. It segmented into neighborhoods where neighbors can get to know one another, post about events in the neighborhood, connect over volunteer activities, flag issues in the neighborhood, and even post items for sale. Local and state agencies can post alerts in the Nextdoor news feed as well. Businesses can target very specific demographics through their advertising on this platform too as over 260,000 neighborhoods are on Nextdoor. Finally we end on one of the first social media sites to gain a massive userbase. Myspace, founded in 2003, it was the largest social media platform in the world from 2005 to 2008 before it was overtaken by Facebook's popularity. Since then Myspace morphed into a site for musicians and even has its own record label. It still boasts 7.5 million users and is still going strong today. Aside from these social media sites many businesses are leveraging this idea of connecting and personal interaction more and more in what they do. Think about review sites like Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes that wouldn't be what they are without individual contributions. Think about the rise in live chat on websites so that the browser can connect with a person to answer their questions. Think about sites that have added community aspects to it or even the box "invite your friends" that may pop up when you sign up for a new service. Businesses are recognizing the benefits of person to person connection. And are also discovering the returns they can get by personalizing their interaction with their own customers as well. And even though we've covered a significant amount of social media sites, you never know when the next big platform will pop up and what changes in society may create a need for the next new thing. So keep watching this space, explore networks that are interesting to you. It will help you as you navigate the social media marketing world.