Five potential Facebook killers

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The social networking scene is constantly in flux. Facebook is at the top of the heap right now, but challengers are springing up all the time, hoping to ride the next big wave into a lucrative IPO. Here are five social media sites that are creating a buzz.

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Empire Avenue: Show me the money

Empire Avenue is a social media exchange network. Members invest virtual currency in people and brands that interest them. Share prices are based on the individual or the brand's activity, engagement, and reach across other social media networks including Empire Avenue, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. Basically, it's a social network and a game that helps members meet and connect with new people, gain insight and metrics of their social media activity across the web, and have fun while becoming better at using the social media environment.

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Color: Color me nearby

Color is a free iPhone and Android app that creates an instant social network based on users location and proximity to others. The objective is to facilitate better relationships with neighbours and co-workers without the rigour of establishing permanent connections. Users can instantly share images, videos and text conversations with others in proximity by capturing information as a group instead of an individual.

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foursquare: Don't oust me, bro

Foursquare is a location-based mobile service that enables participants to share their location with friends by checking in via a smartphone app. It facilitates real world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues they want to visit, then provides customized recommendations. Merchants and brands benefit by using the self service tools to attract and engage customers and fans.

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Hunch: Who are you?

Hunch maps people to their interests. It calls this a "taste graph," which tracks everything that users like and dislike. The site asks users a series of questions about specific topics, then lets them rate the answers. In a nutshell, Hunch customises its results by asking questions about who you are and then makes recommendations for things that other users like you prefer.

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IMVU: 3D swap meet

IMVU is an online social entertainment network for members to meet new friends, to chat, join groups, share interests and play games. Membership and participation is free, and the site provides each new member 1,000 promotional credits of virtual currency to get started. Members earn more promotional credits by participating in other experiences.

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And three sites that went from hot to not... and are trying to reinvent themselves

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MySpace: Is there life after Facebook?

The new MySpace is an entertainment network that connects members to music, celebrities, TV, movies and games. Users customise their own pages to feature their entertainment specialty. MySpace Music has an expanding catalogue of free streaming audio and video content for members to view and use.

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Friendster: A textbook case of what not to do

Like MySpace, Friendster has redesigned its site to focus more on music and gaming. It looks a lot like IMVU with its new offerings of games and avatars, but has also incorporated a number of the MySpace features in the music areas. It provides similar options for connecting with friends and family, but still lacks the numerous features and functionality of Facebook and MySpace.

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Classmates (now called Memory Lane): Facebook victim goes back to the future

Originally, it was just set up to allow members to search for classmates by the years of school attendance or by graduation date, plan events such as reunions, and create bulletin boards for notes and messages. However, it was just completely redesigned with a sort of "50s" look and a new slogan claiming that it's the "premier destination for accessing nostalgic content, yearbooks, and connecting with people."

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Latest UK Updated 11:41am

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