Social Apps



A quick survey of my iPhone’s first two Home screen reveals 47 apps. Nineteen of them have a social component, a social network or their own, and/or are connected to a pre-existing social network:

  • Stamped: Has its own mini-social network where you “stamp” things you like and see what others are stamping.

  • Instagram: Has its own mini-social network, and it connects to Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr, where you take pictures of things and apply cheesy filters to them.

  • Tweetbot: A fantastic app for Twitter.

  • Flipboard: Connects with Twitter and Facebook to show you incoming articles and to allow you to share articles you find.

  • Twitter for iPhone: I use Tweetbot as my Twitter app, but I do like the Connect tab in Twitter that shows all interactions and not just mentions.

  • Path: Has its own mini-social network where you can share all sorts of things.

  • Words with Friends: The name says it all.

  • Gowalla (R.I.P.): Had It’s own mini-social network and connected to Twitter and Facebook; it allowed you to “check in” at locations and see where other people were checking in.

  • Ego: Tells me my Twitter stats, etc.

  • Rdio: Has its own mini-social network where you can share what music you are listening to and have collaborative playlists.

  • UP: The Jawbone UP app has its own mini-social network of “teammates”.

  • Decaf Sucks: Ties in with Twitter and allows you to post reviews of local coffee shops and find local coffee shops near you.

  • Goodfoot: Connects with Gowalla (R.I.P.) to suggest places to eat that are nearby.

  • Birdhouse: A notepad for Twitter.

  • Reeder: Connects with Twitter so I can tweet about an article I read that I liked.

  • Instapaper: Has it’s own mini-social network so I can see what articles my Instapaper friends have liked, and it also connects with Twitter so I can tweet about articles I read.

The iPhone has some native apps with have a social, sharing component:

  • The iPhone Camera app: Using the Twitter integration of iOS 5, you can post your photos to Twitter.

  • Email: Allows me to send notes and letters and pictures and movies to my friends and family members who also have an email address.

  • Messages: Allows me to send a text or multi-media message to my friends and family members who have a cell phone.

Apps like Rdio, Reeder, Instapaper, Flipboard, and Instagram are not social networking apps at their core. They primarily serve another purpose, such as listening to music, reading, or taking pictures. But in many ways these apps are enhanced by their social elements because people like me enjoy sharing ideas and moments of our lives with our friends and network of peers. And we enjoy seeing what others are sharing.