New sites are popping up all the time, presenting users with a dizzying array of options. Some focus on a particular niche or subculture, while others promote an activity or hobby. Still more are centered around a single topic, such as fashion, beauty, photography, or art. It can be tough to know which new sites are worth your attention. Here are some tips for choosing the best new social networks and websites when you’re ready to expand your digital horizons.

Decide on your social media use

There’s a huge variety of social networks out there, which can make it hard to know where to start. When deciding which sites you want to explore, think carefully about your priorities. Do you want to keep your options open, or focus your social media efforts? Do you want to join sites that fit with your existing network, or do you want to try new types of networks?

Look for quality in the writing and art

Some sites are popular because of their focus, but others also have substantial followings because of the quality of their content. If the writing and art are high quality, it’s a good sign that the community is engaged and enthusiastic. If you can, check to see what kinds of topics the site has covered in the past. If the site has a editorial calendar, check that out too. This can help you get a sense of what kind of content to expect from the community. If you find that the site is focused on high-quality content, it’s probably worth a second look.

Check out the user base and engagement

A large user base can be a good sign, but it can also mean that the initial excitement has died down, leaving a community that isn’t very active any more. If you can, check out the social network’s public statistics. How many users are online right now? How many are active per month? How long have they been part of the site? What types of activities are people doing on the site? Are they posting photos and videos, or joining discussions? Are they creating original content, or just re-posting other people’s material? If the site has been around for a while and still seems to be active, it’s worth a closer look.

Watch out for fads and buzzwords

Many new social networks emerge as a result of cultural trends and fads. When you’re selecting sites to join, be wary of those that seem to be built around a buzzword or moment. This isn’t to say that these sites won’t still be around in a few years. But it’s a good idea to avoid sites that appear to be built on a single fad, as future members may not have the same interest in that topic. Sites like those that have a single focus, but are heavy on buzzwords, are likely to be shallow, churning out lots of content but not generating much in the way of genuine engagement.

Don’t forget to read the Terms of Service

You’ll be using these sites to make connections, create content, and share your thoughts with the world. It’s important to read through the Terms of Service to make sure that you’re happy with what you’re signing up for. It’s easy to skim over the legalese, especially when you’re eager to join a new social network. But it’s worth taking the time to make sure that you’re not agreeing to anything you’re uncomfortable with. Some social networks, for example, allow the site to use your content in different ways, including the right to sell it or adapt it. Others may collect and use your information in ways that may surprise you. It’s worth taking the time to make sure that you’re comfortable with the site you’re joining.

Pick based on your favourite type of content

Most social networks have a variety of different types of content, such as photos, videos, and discussion forums. Which of these, if any, does the site have? Common features include: Photos - Whether you’re uploading your own images, or curating and reposting content from other users, a site with lots of photos can be a great way to keep you engaged. - Videos - Videos are a great way to share your thoughts, your hobbies, and your life with a wider audience. Be careful though, as video can take up a lot of time, and may not be the best use of your time. - Discussion forums - Participating in discussions can be a great way to share your thoughts, learn new things, and get to know other people.