Friday, 21 June 2013

Alternatives to the World's Most Popular Web Services

Alternatives to the World's Most Popular Web Services

By Sagar Rox

The better alternative to Facebook (world's most popular social networking website) is Google Plus. Let us see why.

What makes Google+ a better alternative for Facebook?

Hangouts: The killer feature of Google Plus is Hangouts wherein one can video chat in groups in real-time. One can quickly setup and hangout with up to 10 friends instantly, irrespective whether you logged in from your phone or your computer. Another awesome feature is the "Live Hangout Stream" which lets you broadcast a live event to the whole world. Very useful for product promotions, celebrity talks, sport events etc.

Events & Photos: Hosting a party or function? You can now make an event page for it on Google Plus. The awesome thing about it is that anyone attending your event can upload photos to the event page in real-time or at a later point of time! That is one cool feature now. End result, you will get one page where all uploaded images can be seen together, Google+ can also create a cool little slideshow video out of the images which are uploaded to your event page. You can even upload high-resolution pictures if you are using Picasa, the regular resolution limit is 2048�2048 px.

Explore: It is very difficult to discover people outside of our friend circles in Facebook. Google+ has an section called Explore which displays top posts which you may be interested in, collated based on the analysis of your profile. This feature helps you find new people as well as latest happenings around the world through the trending topics.

Gmail Alternative

Gmail from Google, world's most popular free email service has some shortcomings as well. Outlook.com from Microsoft is very promising and has some very cool features to offer. Let us see them below.

What makes Outlook a better alternative for Gmail?

Unlimited Storage and Undelete: A lot of people these days are having issues with Gmail's GB's of storage, it is insufficient to many, including me. Outlook has promised that your inbox capacity will auto-increase as and when you need more space, now that is cool! This matters a lot for people who need to transfer a lot of files through emails. The Undelete feature lets you ask Outlook to recover deleted messages.

Email Aliases: Outlook lets you create email 'aliases' such as forums@outlook.com, which can be real useful when you need to sign up on new websites. All aliases can be auto-sorted into their respective folders, leaving you with a very clean inbox. You can of course delete these aliases at any point of time.

Social Networking: Integration with other web services is a key feature these days! Outlook has integration with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Whenever you open an email, the sender's LinkedIn information, Tweets and Facebok posts show up in a pane on the right side. You also have option to Like/Re-tweet them. You can also chat with your Facebook friends using the built in messenger app.

Flickr Alternative

A better alternative to Flickr (photo sharing website) is 500px.com. Let us see why.

What makes 500px a better alternative for Flickr?

Design and Discoverability: Photography is a visual art and it must be displayed in a pleasing manner. Flickr has fallen short of it, 500px however has a very gorgeous design. The site lets you discover new photos through daily selections. There is "Flow" section of the portfolio, which auto arranges a user's images by its aesthetic value rather than its upload date. Pretty arty, must say!

Sell Your Work: Just like a painter sells his paintings, a photographer must be able to sell his photographs as well. 500px lets you do this very easily. Anybody can buy your image on the site and you get paid for it. You can earn $40 for every canvas print bought and $2 for every direct download of an HD image.

Strong Community: Flickr was the place where photo enthusiasts and professionals used to hangout in the early days, that is not the case anymore. 500px however, has managed to attract a lot of professionals who quit Flickr and hence the community on 500px is very robust. Each image has its own discussion section. It is a very good place to learn a lot about the art.

YouTube Alternative

A better alternative to world's most popular video sharing site YouTube seems to be Vimeo. Let us see why.

What makes Vimeo a better alternative for YouTube?

Quality Videos: Finding an interesting video on YouTube is like finding a needle from a haystack! Vimeo makes this very easy with several 'channels' it has - started by users themselves - which curate cool videos from other users. Vimeo does not allow commercial videos, gaming videos, pornography or non-user-generated content. This ensures that the video clips are safe for all ages.

Unlimited Runtime: YouTube only allows a maximum of 15 minutes of runtime for a video for those who have a free account. If you need to upload bigger videos, you need to split them up! Vimeo has no such restrictions.

Download: Like it? Just Download it. Vimeo allows you to download any video so that you can view it at a later point of time again. No need to use some illegal third party application like most of the people use to download videos from YouTube.

Google Alternative

Google.com, world's most popular search engine has some shortcomings over its competitor DuckDuckGo.com. Let us see what are they.

What makes DuckDuckGo a better alternative for Google?

Zero-Click Information: Search for any item and DuckDuckGo will give you a quick summary by collating information from different sources. If you are searching for a movie, it will grab information from IMDb, Wikipedia and maybe even from the movie's official website to give you relevant results. You can directly ask questions to the search engine, say for example "Who won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2010″ to get an instant answer.

Better Privacy: Google is often viewed as a big bad villain when it comes to finding or storing your personal information on the internet. DuckDuckGo does the opposite by not collecting any data of yours nor sending your private information to the sites you click on.

!bang: This is a feature that regular DuckDuckGo users swear by.!bang is a shortcut to let you search within your intended site. For example, if you want to search for 'human stomach' on Wikipedia, just type!w (shortcut for wikipedia) or!wikipedia human stomach and hit enter, you will directly be taken to Wikipedia's search results for the term you've entered.

What is your opinion and what are your favourite alternatives?

Author, Blogger, SEO Expert, Working Professional and a Student! I play so many roles in life and love what i do. I enjoy each moment of my life. Feel free to check out my site @ http://www.intehnet.com and give a feedback.

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