Thanks to the rise of social media, as well as the prevalence of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, everyone is now connected to everyone else in one way or another. Facebook and Twitter have been at the vanguard of this social media revolution, and for many people these sites are all they need to fulfil their need for connection. You may not be aware, however, that there are many apps you can download for your smartphone that expand the social media experience beyond simple profile pages and chat services. From TV to traffic and more, here are five of the best social media apps (apart from Facebook and Twitter).
Linkedin is a service you may have heard of. It presents itself as a sort of Facebook for professionals, with an emphasis on the ‘networking’ part of social networking. It’s a great way to build business contacts, and the app works very well, allowing you various ways to communicate with your contacts at the tap of a button. It’s faster and more clearly laid out than the Linkedin web service, making it an essential addition to any career-minded person’s collection.
This one is for gamers. Taking Valve’s hugely popular online gaming service to a mobile platform, the Steam app allows users not only to keep up with sales and upcoming releases, but also to view your friend’s profiles, chat with them and view their high scores. It’s this aspect that makes it a fantastic gaming-oriented social network – though you can’t play games with your friends through the app.
GetGlue is a social network app, for sure, but it’s focused on things rather than people. For example, if you read a particularly good book, you can ‘check-in’ using Getglue and others who are into similar things will be able to see it. It’s a good way to find things that you might be interested in, whether it’s movies, food or videogames, and tell others if you’ve found something really cool you want to share with the world.
Most people use sat navs. They’re an incredibly useful tool to avoid getting lost, and the folks behind Waze have capitalized on the popularity of social networks to make one of the best sat nav apps available. Waze uses data collected from all its users to build a picture of road conditions, such as heavy traffic and adverse weather. It then displays this information in real-time, allowing you to take the best route.
Because of its emphasis on user-collected data, it’s one of the first truly social, collaborative navigation apps, and is a must-download for anyone who frequently gets stuck in traffic. Because it’s a sat nav, though, it necessarily uses a lot of battery power, so if you plan on using it regularly, it’s a good idea to use a smartphone with a decent battery life, like one by Lenovo, Samsung, or LG.
If keeping track of all these various social networks is becoming too much, Flipboard provides an elegant, all-encompassing solution. Providing connectivity to all the usual social networks, it also functions as a sort of ‘news feed’ for your interests, displaying content in an attractive ’tile’ format (which is very much in vogue right now). The result is a global network which lets you discover new things and then share them with anyone who might be interested.