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The premier social network is looking to push growth with Timeline (pictured here), the Website's play to centralize a user's collective social presence on one page.

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This Website has gone massively viral, with users blasting out blurbs of 140 characters or less to the tune of 250 million tweets per day from over 100 million global active users, half of those logging in every day. However, while Facebook users spend an average of eight hours a month on that Website, people tend to hit and run on Twitter. That might not bode well for sustained ad plans down the road.

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This professional social network has surprised us with its fortitude. While product development there seemed to have waned in 2009 and 2010, 2011 has seen a profusion of positive business developments for LinkedIn, which not only went public but boosted its user base to over 130 million users and has been making small acquisitions. The company has a nice combination of advertising and professional recruiting service revenues. There's really nothing like LinkedIn in the market.

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Arguably the hottest social network around after growing to more than 40 million users through mid-October, Google+ appears to be for real. Google is spitting out upgrades faster than Facebook and seems dead set on catching or at least building out to support a user base comparable to the market leader and its chief rival.

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People really love using this blog-hosting platform, which lets users post text, photos, quotes, links, music and videos, from any Web-connected device. The statistics here speak for themselves. Note this most significant milestone of more than 33 million blogs created thus far in 2011. That compares with just 7 million a year ago. Users have generated more than 12 billion posts. Royal Pingdom offers more.

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We understand some might have an issue with calling YouTube a social network, but it qualifies because of the number of sharing tools and the new integration with Google+, where users can watch YouTube content together with friends and colleagues. Plus YouTube just announced premium channels and programming, which lend themselves to group viewing like any other cable network.

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The new Digg, which has seen better days, Reddit is a social-news Website, where the registered users submit content that users vote up or down to rank the post and determine its position on the site's pages and front page. Operationally independent of Cond??« Nast, which acquired it in 2006, Reddit is seeing solid growth in 2011.

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Delicious started off the social-bookmarking craze years ago. Now, it's been spun out of Yahoo and reborn. The spinout, by YouTube founder Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, didn't go so well; it was bug-laden. But the brand is still solid.

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Users click on stories and Web pages they like, and StumbleUpon matches pages to their personal preferences that have been recommended by friends or one of more than 15 million other users with similar interests. Users can rate the Websites to share them with others and so on. It's crowd-sourced Web page sharing at its finest.

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Posterous Spaces

Tumblr's smaller rival, Posterous is a cool blogging platform used by many techies. It has a particular bent for mobile blogging, allowing users to send email with photos, MP3s, documents and video.

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