The Oxford Dictionary just named “selfie” the word of the year. I’d say that just about sums up 2013. This year, social networking took on a whole new meaning and has become an enormous beast that is impossible to contain. Whether you share your personal life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or all of the above, the Internet has made it possible for anyone to keep track of how many people like them.
The writers at iDownloadBlog have come up with a list of what they think are the 10 best social networking apps of 2013. Check out our favorites and then vote for the one you like best to be added to our Best Apps of 2013 list…
Twitter’s most popular third-party client received a major update in 2013 that redesigned it from the ground up. The new user interface has been refreshed with an iOS 7 look and feel. With this app, users can receive native Push Notifications, activate Mute filters to block out certain hashtags, users, and keywords. Sync your timeline, direct message read status, and mute filters between devices. Save drafts, add locations, attach photos, and more. This app is on sale for $1.99.
This year, Twitter decided to up its game in the social networking realm. This video sharing app allows users to make mini (micro, even) movies and share them to a feed very similar to Twitter’s design. It has become hugely popular in its short life and has also become a go-to service for launching teaser trailers, product commercials, and more. A person could spend hours just watching creative 6-second clips from the editor’s pick section. This app is available for free.
Google’s social networking site may not have the forward momentum that Facebook has, but Google+ has a lot of cool features that most people just don’t take advantage of. Hangouts, for example, lets you easily have group video chats with others and it works better than most group video chat services. The app lets users have similar hangout sessions in a mobile capacity. You can share photos, add GIFs and animations, join Hangouts, participate in video calls with up to 10 people, and chat with others across platforms, including mobile and desktop devices. This app is available for free.
Another hugely popular Twitter client that received a major update in 2013 came in the form of black. At a time when app developers have been producing flat, white apps, this new design is both refreshing and complimentary of iOS 7. It is nice to see that devs understand that the new look of Apple’s mobile devices is not so two-dimensional. This app offers background refresh, support for additional accounts, and lots of features native to Twitter’s service. You can also bookmark tweets, upload photos from Twitter, img.ly, Mobypicture, TwitPic, and CloudApp, and mute hashtags and users. This app is available for $1.99.
Say what you will about Blackberry, this company is not giving up. They’ve gone from the top seller in mobile devices to so deep in the hole that they’ve almost been thrown out with the trash. At the same time that the world was turning its back on Blackberry, the company reinvented itself, launched a completely redesigned operating system, and finally made it possible for the rest of the world to communicate with its customers. The Blackberry Messenger app connects iOS with Blackberry users so they can communicate across devices without having to worry about text message overages. You can send chat, photos, files, voice notes and more. This app is available for free.
Social networking doesn’t have to take place behind a desk. Sometimes, getting out into the wilderness can be a great way to share your common likes with others. This app is designed to bring the outdoorsy types together. Thanks to other social users, find out about thousands of locations to have an adventure. You can upload photos and videos to share your activities with others. Filter your searches by rock climbing, biking, skiing, and much more. There may be an epic journey waiting for you right in your backyard. This app is available for free.
Flow for Instagram
This fun Instagram client for the iPad just came out recently and it is a big hit with fans of a darker-themed iOS 7 style. It has an elegant design, offers plenty of interactive social features that is native to Instagram, and gives your photo feed a whole new look. If you are ready for a big change in the way your Instagram pictures are displayed, this is a real treat on the eyes. The user interface offers a completely different take on scrolling through pictures. You access new pictures by swiping horizontally instead of vertically. This app is available for free.
Retro – Instagram viewer for iPad
After gushing about how much I loved Flow, one of our readers mentioned that Retro was another great Instagram client for the iPad. Guess what, he was right (thanks Joey_Mousepad). This sleek-looking app is like the Ying to the Yang of Flow. It is bright and clean and has an iOS 7 design for your lighter mood. With it, you can access multiple accounts, change the view for quick or detailed viewing, download photos, and access many of Instagram’s native feature. This app is available for free.
Loop – Social Polling
This may seem like a silly social networking app, but it can be really helpful. Not only can you get great advice about what to do or who to choose, but you don’t even have to wait for your friends to tell you. You can ask a bunch of strangers, who will probably be a lot more honest than your friends, who don’t want to hurt your feelings. After you ask your question and get responses, you can see the results on a simple Infograph that shows you statistics based on gender or age group. This app is available for free.
Tumblr has been around since 2007, but has only really taken off as a major contender in the social networking sphere. Users share quotes, pictures, and text in a micro-blogging style. This app makes viewing your Tumblr feed smooth, convenient, and very attractive. Navigate between accounts using multi-tab views. Instead of having to tap the back button eight times to get back to the first Tumblr account you were reading, just select from one of the tabs that automatically opens every time you tap a link. When you don’t want to see the messy collection of tabs, just scroll down and it will disappear until you need it again. This app is available for free.
Cast your vote
We are also taking a poll from our readers on the top apps in each category. Out of the 10 apps we presented today, please cast your vote on which one is the very best. The winning app will be included on a list of the top 10 readers’ choice apps for 2013. Please take a moment to make your voice heard and tell us which social networking app from the list above is your favorite.