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10 Hot Social Media Startups to Watch

Jeff Vance | April 18, 2013
Social media startups aren't typically as well-funded as cloud or mobile startups, but they can have just as much impact and potential in how a business functions and succeeds. After evaluating more than 40 social media startups and then turning to crowdsourcing for input, here are the 10 hot social media startups to watch.

Or as their PR rep wrote: "On Twitter, you follow people; on Evzdrop, you follow places. The app connects people based on a shared interest in a particular location, whether that's a retail store, gym, stadium, hotel, airport or restaurant." As opposed to chief competitor Foursquare, you don't have to be socially connected with the people there to see what's going on.

Market Potential and Competitive Landscape:According to Gartner, the Location Based Services (LBS) market will annually generate revenues of $13.5 billion by 2015. Main competitors include Foursquare and review sites like Yelp.

Unlike Foursquare, users follow places rather than people who happen to be in those places. Versus traditional review sites, such as Yelp, Evzdrop has taken steps to block fraudulent reviews and to factor in time. Users of Evzdrop can't post reviews once they've left, so you avoid stale reviews that don't match up with a specific slice of time.

We've all been to a place that's dead on a Wednesday evening, but absolutely hopping on Friday night. Traditional reviews don't typically capture that. Evzdrop tries to capture the feel of the place at any given moment in time. To accomplish this, Evzdrop uses geofencing technology to ensure that only people currently at a specific location can post reviews or comments.

Customers include the Blue Man Group, Ruth's Chris and the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

6. Nestivity

What they do: Nestivity helps brands and individuals build communities with their Twitter followings.

Headquarters: Los Angeles, Calif.

CEO: Henry Min, who was previously employee number 18 at Razorfish and who later worked for Digitas, where he served in a leadership role on the American Express interactive account.

Founded: 2012

Funding: The company currently has angel funding and is in the process of seeking Series A funding.

Why they're on this list: Despite its clout in the social media world, Twitter is a big, disorganized mess in many ways. That's both a strength and a weakness. Nestivity seeks to bring some of the advantages of other social media platforms (such as the ability to create closed, tight-knit communities) to Twitter.

Nestivity allows you to curate topics and host discussions in easy to follow threads, rather than searching the Twittersphere one hashtag at a time.

Market Potential and Competitive Landscape:We're not aware of direct competitors for Nestivity yet; however, what's to stop Twitter or any number of Twitter tie-ins, such as Hootsuite, from adding a feature like this?

First-mover advantage could be a big deal here, but Nestivity will need to quickly secure the resources necessary to make that advantage pay off.

7. Nexgate (formerly Social IQ Networks)

What they do: Provide a suite of cloud-based services that help companies discover and audit social media accounts. Then, once visibility is established, Nexgate helps companies protect their brand-run accounts and applications on the social Web.

 

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