Social networking has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. Facebook alone is achieving nearly 100 million unique mobile users each month. It’s a big pie, and there are many small companies out there looking to claim a slice for themselves, which has led to thousands of different social apps on iTunes. To make some sense of that madness, this list includes five that are must-haves for your social arsenal.
Most social networking apps tend to specialize in a particular social network. Flipboard, on the other hand, integrates Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, RSS feeds and nearly any other social media source. In fact, if Flipboard doesn’t support it directly, it isn’t difficult to customize it to do so. What really sets Flipboard apart, however, is how it parses and presents that information. It allows the user to view social media as a digital magazine, including organizing by cover stories, news, genres and other categories.
2. Facebook Home
The developers at Facebook know a lot about social networking, and their core app is a great option for many people. Unfortunately, it’s not as streamlined as it could be because it strives to balance the needs of the user with its own marketing desires. The Facebook Home team, however, has no such concerns, and it has developed an app that boils Facebook down to the information that you want most.
Like social apps, there are just too many chat services, and everybody and every clique has its own chat preferences. The Meebo app is a solution that lets users connect to all of those chat services simultaneously without having to have each service’s app installed and loaded. In fact, once the services are configured, the user can chat across them in a seamless fashion.
Twitter is a wonderful platform, but it’s a little dry and unwieldy using the default tools. The Plume app is an enhanced Twitter tool that adds a number of invaluable features, including filtering, ignore for tweeters and topics, color-coded contacts and inline streaming and images. Plume also adds eye candy that makes Twitter a lot more fun to use.
The FlashBind app is an interface and access point for the FlashBind platform. The platform provides an ingenious and free service that connects users to various service providers, both local and online, based on the trust level that the business has with other people in the user’s network, including family, friends and coworkers. Most people prefer to choose services based on recommendations from people they know, and FlashBind makes that process more efficient and productive.
The best social networking apps to have are those that add a new tool to your arsenal, such as FlashBind, and those that consolidate your usage, such as Flipboard and Meebo.