Social networking can be one of the most useful, not to mention enjoyable, activities you can do on your desktop or mobile device. However, with the constantly changing social landscape, it can be hard to know which apps are worth you time and which ones are duds. After all, who wants to waste time learning an app, only to discover that it doesn’t work properly? So without further ado, here is our list of nine great social networking apps (and one “anti” social network).
Released in February of 2014 to rave reviews, Facebook Paper offers users an avenue to explore more than just their list of friends. Beyond the fresh new look is a completely redesigned way to view Facebook. Instead of a single newsfeed, Paper resembles something more like Flipboard or Google Play News. Once set up, users can browse several feeds including friends’ updates and trending stories from a variety of sources, all customized to the user’s taste.
While the LinkedIn website is not unfamiliar to most business users; the mobile app might just offer a better user experience than the website does. Distilling everything into one unified feed allows users to quickly browse LinkedIn on the go, reading everything from connection’s updates to relevant news stories selected by LinkedIn’s Pulse service.
The Instagram network continues to grow rapidly, making it harder and harder to ignore this social network. From the public photo feed, to the 15-second video feature, and the private messaging dashboard, Instagram is quickly becoming a must-have app.
A Twitter creation, Vine was one of the first apps to delve into online micro-videos. By following the right people, users can keep up with the friends’ latest exploits, receive quick news updates and watch countless hilarious viral videos.
One of the fastest growing social networks, the Snapchat app allows users to quickly send photos or videos that are automatically deleted after 10 seconds. The app has gone through a number of revisions over the years and has solidly landed a spot among the top downloaded apps in both the iOS and Android markets.
Among the many mobile instant messengers, Google Hangouts stands out as one of the most polished and complete. Using the free service, users can chat with their friends via text, voice, or video. In addition, the On Air feature can be used to broadcast and record videos that can be viewed live or played back at a later time.
Everyone knows the pain of a long commute. Waze aims to help drivers help themselves by providing live updates on weather conditions, heavy traffic, accidents and more, using up-to-date info provided by other drivers.
One of the most comprehensive neighborhood-discovery apps, Yelp allows users to search an expansive database of businesses to find the best nearby spot for shopping, dining, and countless other activities. Much like Waze, Yelp harnesses the power of the crowd by prompting users to submit reviews for businesses that they have visited.
One of the most entertaining websites in recent memory, the Pinterest app makes browsing the things you’re interested in even easier.
While most social networks help people connect with others, Cloak is for those who’d rather keep their distance. By inputting your social profiles, Cloak will scan your friend list for any “check-ins” and send an alert if you are about to visit the same location as someone you’d rather avoid.
Which app is your favorite?