Facebook and Twitter are the leading social media apps, but in the past few years they've been joined by additional social networks including Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Pinterest, all of which seem to have taken the internet by storm. So what's the next big thing in the social space for 2015? We bring you seven apps that aim to become social successes this year, plus a bonus social network that actually pays you for posting.
Social apps to watch in 2015: Secret
Secret is a bit different from your normal social media app, allowing you to share secrets with your friends – but they won't know it's you. They can then reply anonymously, too.
Your secrets don't just get shared with your friends, though. They can be seen by people nearby, and if your friends "love" your secret then their friends will see it too.
Kleek isn't its own social network. Rather, it connects to Facebook to allow you to limit the statuses and other data to just the people you care most about. You can use Kleek to make sure only your close friends see your statuses.
Yik Yak (shown at the top of this article) is a bit like Secret, allowing you to share your thoughts with people nearby. Posts can get upvoted if they're interesting, so you'll see the posts that others have considered to be good at the top of your feed.
You can also take a look at what's being posted in other locations, say New York rather than your location of London, if you're curious about what they're talking about across the pond.
A rival to the likes of Snapchat, Shots is a smartphone app that lets you capture photographs, or 'shots', through the front-facing camera, which then get shared with other Shots users. You can't comment on the photos, because the developers are concerned about cyberbullying, so it's simply a scrolling wall of selfies.
There's also a private chat feature built-in that you can use to talk to friends. And if you're wondering what all the Justin Bieber photos are about – he helped fund the startup back in 2012.
Free to download and use, Hyper is a new photo-sharing app that uses hastags and geotags to help likeminded people in the same area discover new things. There's also a voting system that can allow users to get opinions on their new hairstyle or tattoo, for example, or whether they should go to a particular restaurant or café perhaps.
Remember Bebo? It's back, and it's actually completely different. Back in the early 2000s, Bebo was a social channel a lot like MySpace, and everyone was on it. It quickly lost traction, though, ue to the huge success of Facebook and Twitter. So, Bebo has been completely relaunched as a social app and it's really rather fun. You create your own avatar, and you can chat with friends using funny illustrations that are generated from your hashtags. It's free, so download it and give it a try (it's great fun).
There's no Bubblews app yet – it's online only – so it's a bit of a bonus suggestion that could take off in 2015. Bubblews launched earlier this year, and is designed to reward its users for posting by giving them money in return. There are lots of adverts scattered throughout the site, and it's a portion of the revenue from those adverts that gets shared with its users.