Lesser-Known Social Networking Web Sites Compete For Members

Ryan Wenzel

By Dan McFaddenContributing Writer

In today’s technologically advanced world, there are many social networking sites competing for users.

All students know the ins and outs of Facebook.com and MySpace, but other blogging sites like Bebo and TagWorld are beginning to catch on at colleges across the country.

Bebo is set up with customized backgrounds, music videos, glitter and sparkles, and emoticons, similar to MySpace. Users can express themselves through background images ranging from Spiderman and flowers to Carmen Electra and The Fray.

“It’s more of an international trend,” said Weinberg sophomore Izabel Gronski, a Bebo user. Gronski signed up for Bebo when her friend introduced her to it, but she said she hasn’t used it since August because most of her friends are on Facebook.

Communication senior Debbie Kaltman said she first used Bebo last summer while in Ireland. She registered with the site because many of the people she met overseas used it to stay in touch. But since she returned to the U.S., she said she hasn’t used Bebo as frequently as before.

“Once I got back from Ireland, I switched back to Facebook because all of my friends use it,” Kaltman said.

Another site remaining relatively under-the-radar is TagWorld. It is similar in many ways to MySpace and Bebo but has its own unique features. Users can upload an array of songs to listen to while browsing the site. TagWorld also has a map feature, which shows the user’s location in relation to various other cities.

Founded in 2005, TagWorld has more than 2 million members worldwide. Yet most college students continue to pledge their loyalty to MySpace and Facebook, with more than 18,000 students registered and actively participating in the Northwestern Facebook network alone.

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