Facebook:

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook out of his dorm room for his fellow students at Harvard. Today, toddlers to grandmothers can be found on Facebook. Strengths: Widely-adopted by large segments of the population. Weaknesses: Will the younger generation stay on Facebook once Grandma has “friended” them?

Google+:

This is the new kid on the block, but poses a serious threat to Facebook and other platforms. Why? Because it’s just so darn easy to use — the clean, simple interface makes connecting with friends, family and business associates a piece of cake. Google+ was the fastest-growing social network in history and looks as though it’s here for the long-run. Strengths: Ease-of-use and uncluttered environment. Weaknesses: Competition from other well-established social media platforms.

LinkedIn:

This is the Grand Pooh Bah of them all. They’ve been around since 2003, which, in social media terms is also known as “since the beginning of time.” Strengths: Everybody’s on LinkedIn. Weaknesses: Most people have trouble knowing what to do with LinkedIn after they upload their business information.

Twitter:

A surprisingly-successful tool that is widely-adopted and used for everything from business to fun and games. Strengths: Used by large segments of the population. Weaknesses: Can be a distraction, especially if you have Attention Deficit Disor … wow, look at that bird outside my window!

XING:

XING has more than 8 million subscribers worldwide. It has over 34,000 specialized groups and over 150,000 live networking events each year. Strengths: XING adds new developments to their platform on a regular basis. Weaknesses: Not as widely-adopted as some other platforms such as LinkedIn.