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10 New Social Media Startups That Launched in 2012

Most Notable Social Media Startups of the Year


A ton of social media and social networking startups launched in 2012. We compiled a list of 10 of the most notable ones. Many of these were high profile launches involving new ideas and innovative services from established Internet entrepreneurs.

It remains to be seen, of course, how well each will do over time.

1. RebelMouse

RebelMouse logo
RebelMouse is a social publishing tool designed to help people unify their social media presences online. It lets people to create, present and edit a unified online stream of updates from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, as well as curate material from around the WEb. Read a review of Rebel Mouse.

2. edX

edX logo
edX is an online education, nonprofit joint venture between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that launched in April 2012 and aims to do two things. First, it will offer university-level courses online to anyone for free, and second, it will develop an open-source online learning platform that other schools can use, too. EdX is part of a major movement sweeping higher education that involves offering free education online, typically through what are called massive, open online courses or MOOCs.

3. Coursera

Coursera logo
Coursera is another notable startup in the online education field. It's similar to edX, and to yet another online startup launched in late 2011, which is called Udacity.

4. DIY

DIY logo
DIY is an online community for children offering tools that encourage them to design and make things-- and reward them for showing off their artwork, projects and other creations. Like the Boy Scouts, it uses a "club" approach that confers "patches" for development of specific skills.

5. Branch

Branch logo
Branch is a platform for public, online, moderated discussions designed to promote high-quality conversation that can be easily embedded into other websites and social networks. It calls conversations "branches", and the company's tag line is "a new way to talk to each other" Read a review of Branch.

6. Medium

Medium logo
© Medium
Medium is a social publishing platform developed by two founders from Blogger.com and Twitte designed to promote high-quality content online. It allows people to create and publish content about specific themes or topics in "collections." Visit the Medium website or read our review of Medium.

7. Airtime

Airtime logo
Airtime is a video social networking platform designed to promote live video chatting. Created by former Napster founder Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, it launched in 2012 with a lot of hoopla and hopes that it could offer a lot of the benefits of the former video chatting phenomenon, ChatRoulette, while avoiding the pitfalls of porn that ChatRoulette encountered. At year end in 2012, Airtime was struggling and had laid off some employees.

8. Highlight

Highlight logo
Highlight is a mobile app designed to help people find others nearby who share your interest. It launched in January 2012 amid a wave of hype about location-based social networking tools that leverage GPS technologies and smart phones. Read our review of Highlight.

9. Chromatik

Chromatik logo
Chromatik is a social networking iPad app for composing, annotating, learning and sharing music. The app records music that people play and provides them with tools to annotate and share their recordings with others, remix them with songs others have created. It's especially popular with music teachers for the interactive learning tools Chromatik offers.

10. Lua

Lua logo
Lua Technologies
Lua is a suite of mobile collaboration tools for workers on the go, such as construction workers and other people who don't typically work at desktop computers. The company is called Lua Technologies, and it launched its mobile workforce product in June 2012. It's designed to help coordinate mobile teams working in the field.
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