PROS / Netlog boasts an assortment of more than 40 languages.
CONS / It's difficult to find new friends unless you pay for an additional service.
VERDICT / Even with strong showings in profile creation and security, Netlog cannot compete with completely free social networks.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top Social Networking Websites here.
It's important for top social networking sites to give access to international members and provide support for multiple languages built into their interfaces. Netlog, created in Belgium in 2003, excels at this with its list of more than 40 languages to choose from. With the exception of a few ads on the Netlog homepage, you can see spotlighted blog messages and shouts, which are Netlog status updates. Seeing random messages like these can help you find friends based on similar opinions and interests.
If you want to have your picture or blog message featured on the Netlog homepage, you have to make a payment with PayPal or a credit card. The spotlight assures that you can share an unlimited number of videos, blogs and pictures. Keep in mind that in this case, unlimited means you have to keep paying to be seen. Netlog offers a free download of the Netlog 24 toolbar that alerts you when you have a message or new friend request without requiring you to be signed into the Netlog website.
We found that Netlog is not an advocate of meeting and networking with people you don't already know. However, this makes things a little difficult when searching for friends. Netlog encourages you to upload your email address book and let it find your friends for you. You can also do a search using the keyword box, although we found that method to be terribly inefficient. Netlog utilizes an additional service called Twoo that it wants you to use concurrently with Netlog. It's the social network site's friend finder and matchmaker.
Netlog is very proficient with its privacy settings. You have advanced filter settings that allow you to meet new people or just keep in contact with friends and prevent others from viewing your profile. You can make allowances for who exactly can send you messages, post comments or give you a rating. If you have high security settings in place, you can add certain people to your Whitelist, giving them access to your profile, pictures and blogs. The Blacklist lets you immediately block users.
We initially liked the spotlight feature that displays shouts and blog posts from random Netlog members but were turned off when we found it costs money to highlight your pictures and profile so strangers can find you. Netlog works well as a social network for a close group of friends that you have on your email contacts list, but if you want to find new friends, you may have to also subscribe to the social media site's partner site Twoo, which is a different service altogether. Netlog's security and privacy settings are in depth and helpful if you don't want spam or strangers viewing your pictures.