Create your own private social network

Almost everyone has a Facebook and Twitter account, and almost all of us have friends and followers that number in the few hundreds, if not thousands. But every now and then, you might not want to post personal thoughts and pictures for all to see. Well, you don’t have to. The interweb is now home to a bunch of resources that cater to smaller and more intimate groups. Ashutosh Desai tells you how you can be…

– Family & Friends 

SquareHub is a social network that’s tailor-made for family and close friends. To start a ‘hub’ , however, you will need to install a mobile app and create a shared login before inviting others to join. Invitees will also need to download and install the app on their devices. Like it is with Facebook, hub members can post photos and updates.
Its photo gallery includes built-in effects and stickers, which can be used to edit snapshots, making it a great place for personal, but fun galleries.
SquareHub works well to plan events like picnics and parties after checking everyone’s schedules; to create to-do lists and reminders for members.
Within a group, you can choose to share updates only between a select few, and you can also use individual PINs for one-on-one messaging. Additionally, you can share updates with nonmembers . These folk will receive an e-mail notification of your post and can respond similarly only to you.

– Where:

– Available on:  Android, iOS | Free

There’s a new addition to your family. Simply create an account on 23 snaps — a free service that lets you share pictures and videos of your li’l champion with grandparents, and the new uncles and aunts.
Posts can include height and weight updates, “first step” photos and even videos of your tiny tot saying his or her first words. 23snaps also has a filter that lets you keep certain posts private, and visible to your spouse only.
The Android and iOS app also lets you spruce up your snapshots with built-in filters. Images already uploaded to Picasa, Flickr or Instagram can be imported to your albums.
This service can be accessed from the web browser too, so it isn’t mandatory for your folks to install the app. They will, however, need to sign up with 23snaps in order to see your posts.

– Where:

– Available on:  Android, iOS, Web | Free


Keepy  is another resource that lets you maintain a feature-rich online scrapbook, filled with photographs of your child’s doodles and craftwork. And starting an account is as simple as downloading an app, creating a login and profile for each of your kids before you start posting images.
Pictures can be tagged with keywords as well as location data. To add pizzazz to posts, you can embed voice notes and videos too. The scrapbooks can be shared with relatives and friends by adding them as ‘fans,’ It is not compulsory for ‘fans’ to install Keepy. They will receive secure links via e-mail and be able to leave comments and voice notes to your post.
You also get the option to share updates on Facebook and Twitter.
A free account lets you add 31 ‘keepies’ per month. Although, inviting friends to use the app, increases this limit.

– Where:

– Available on: Android, iOS, Web | Free

– School & Work 

SGrouples SGrouples is a networking website that can be used by professionals as well as students who’re seeking a more serious online forum for interaction. The resource uses a tabbed interface to list your news stream, private messages, contacts, and even provides you with 1GB cloud storage (inviting more users increases this limit).
Inviting colleagues and classmates is simple. Just connect to your address book in Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, LinkedIn to pick the contacts you want to connect with on SGrouples.
Users can create notes, upload documents, tag them and share them with their groups. You can also use the cloud storage for photo albums, discussions and your ‘event calendar.’
The service includes a real-time chat box, allowing you to message online (and offline) contacts from the browser or the Android, iOS app. Since privacy on SGrouples is important, you can choose not to have a public profile and the website promises not to snoop on your posts, track your usage or use your data for profit.
Groups can be made to be private, invitation-only or open to all. That said, the website still gives you the option to connect to Facebook and Twitter for the times you want to share an update with everyone.

– Where:

– Available on:  Android, iOS, Web | Free


Everyme is a social network that aims to keep things simple and straightforward. Like Google+, you can create groups like friends, family, colleagues, etc — and even use a separate cover photo for each ‘circle.’
The web interface is fairly basic, letting you post text and images to your circles. Everyme’s mobile app, however, lets you upload videos from your smartphone and tablet, and — if you want — you can even add location data to your updates.
Notably, an update can only be posted to one group at a time. This way, you can cut out the crosstalk between different circles, making it easier to manage.
In case you want to delete your account, Everyme provides you with an option to export all your posts, including images, videos, comments, etc. to a ZIP file that can be downloaded to a local computer.

– Where:

– Available on:  Android, iOS, Web | Free

– Couples 
Avocado, Between, Couple 

Penning romantic notes might earn you some brownie points, but creating a special online account for just the two of you will take you even further…
You can be ‘virtually’ next to your bestie all of the time with mushy features like the ‘thumb kiss’ in Couple, and sending ‘XO’s through Avocado.
There are some practical inclusions to these couples only apps as well — calendar, grocery and to-do lists.
On the lighter side, these apps let you sketch on the same canvas or on photos, maintain personal albums and send secret self-destructing messages.
While all three apps are available for Android and iOS devices, Avocado and Couple can also be accessed via the browser.

– Where:;;

– Available on:  Android, iOS, Web | Free.

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