10 Hot Social Media Startups to Watch

This roundup of hot social media startups was culled from a list of more than 40 nominees that were originally compiled on Startup50. Because narrowing a list of so many compelling startups down to 10 is both tricky and subjective we turned to crowdsourcing for part of the decision-making process.

Nearly 2,000 people voted, and the top 10 vote-getters were then scrutinized for any weaknesses. Eight out of the top 10 made the final list, proving not only the wisdom of crowds, but the wisdom of getting your businesses message out there effectively. The top vote getters clearly have made real investments in PR and marketing, and as a result, they understand their customers better, have tighter messages and have refined their positioning.

For more on selection criteria and weighting, go here. One thing to note, one factor normally weighted heavily--the amount of VC funding raised--is deemphasized in this roundup.

[Related: 10 Hot Cloud Startups to Watch ]

[Related: 7 Hot Mobile Startups to Watch in 2013 ]

Social media startups just aren't as well-funded as, say, cloud or mobile startups. One factor is that no one has really figured out which business models will actually generate revenues consistently in this market.

Second, social media startups tend to be cloud-born companies that don't require nearly as much up-front capital or development efforts as startups in the past did. Most of these startups provide focused services, not huge, complicated on-premise software suites.

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