Top 10 Apps For The Social Industry
Ever wonder what makes a social app special? A review of the most innovative social apps reveals features and functionality that these top apps share.
By Alicia Waters
Graphic Designer, Metova, Inc.
When you’re talking social and social networking mobile applications, you have to mention the
standard, cross-platform apps that everyone must have: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype,
Google+ and Flickr. You also have to mention the go-to location/travel focused apps such as
Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla.
Once those industry Godzillas are given their due, you can begin to dig into more focused and
targeted social apps that combine great usability and design to create truly special apps. The list
that follows includes our favorites of those apps.
First let’s answer the enduring question: What makes these social apps so good?
In putting together our list, we ran across a set of characteristics that many of these social apps
share. For example, a forth of them let users share via Twitter and include a “comment” feature.
Twenty-two percent of them let users share content on Facebook and designate their “favorites.”
The below infographic details the 14 functions most commonly used by these top apps.
The next time you open your favorite social app, check its features against these 14 – I’m
guessing that you’ll find a marked overlap.
Top 10 Social Apps
Balllin’ ~ a Dribbble client
Developed by Kangaroo Bandit Software
Balllin’ is a place where designers and developers can share screenshots of apps and designs that
they are currently working on. The app uses tags to help users browse and share content easily.
Find My Friends
Developed by Apple Inc.
This social networking app has only one function: To let users see where their friends and family
are located. It’s simple, direct, and most importantly, works very well.
Developed by Flipboard, Inc.
Pioneering and visually stunning, this is the only app to make our list that doesn’t have friends
or groups integrated into the app. Flipboard acts as a hub for content, and lets users easily share
content with other networks.
Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad
Developed by 2011 AdaptiveBlue, Inc.
GetGlue is an entertainment app that lets users “check-in” to share their entertainment activities.
With real-time feeds, users can keep up with how their friends are spending their free time as
Developed by Burbn, Inc.
One of the most popular iOS apps of 2011, Instagram lets users take, apply filters and share
photos. By connecting to Facebook, Twitter and email, Instagram speeds up sharing and expands
the reach of the app.
Developed by Milk, Inc.
The one location/travel app to make the list, Oink lets users rate items (pizza, roller coasters,
etc.) instead of just places. Taking full advantage of multimedia, Oink shows thumbnails of
images and uses an intuitive navigation pattern.
Android, iPhone, iPad
Developed by Path, Inc.
If you’re bitter about the vast and impersonal nature of large social networking platforms, Path is
the app for you. It acts as a journal and social network for close friends and family.
Android, iPhone, iPad
Developed by Top Apps (Android), Cold Brew Labs, Inc. (iOS)
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where users can share their lifestyle and inspiration. Initial contact
with Pinterest requires users to actively engage, resulting in easy adoption to the network.
Developed by Sermo, Inc.
Sermo is a social network for medical professionals. The app’s content is so targeted and unique
that there’s no question what users are there for. The design built around the app’s content helps
create and nurture the community, which is built every time the app gains a new user.
Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7
Developed by Spotify Ltd.
The breakout music subscription service of last year, the Spotify app creates a portable listening
environment for its community.