Social media craze

bytemesocialmediabillboardSocial networking is all the craze right about now and with good reason too. I mean, how great for sharing photos, videos and just personal stuff (sometimes too personal if you ask me) and generally a great way to keep up with those we deem important.

But besides the obvious giants out there — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ — what other types of social networking platforms are available?

Well here are a few I think you’d like and they can be a lot of fun to use.

First out of the door is Vine. This video app from the makers of Twitter topped the list of free iOS apps less than three months after it debuted. Vine allows up to six-second videos then share via the app itself on their Twitter account.

The one-touch video continuation feature means you can shoot multiple scenes and incorporate all those clips into one video — it also makes for some pretty cool stop motion videos as wells. And with a relatively similar interface to Twitter, the experience is fresh but has a flat learning curb. This also means you can explore other users’ videos and search for common trending topics in a similar fashion.

I was never really a fan of some aspects of Foursquare, one of which was the checking-in part (unless you were checking in someplace really cool and wanted to show off), but with enough “check-ins” you became mayor of the place or something along those lines — but that’s not what I like about it.

For those who don’t know, Foursquare is a location-based app that tells you what’s nearby, based on what others suggested. And when you are at a location you can score tips and deals. Foursquare gives you directions, hours, menus and photos so you can decide on a destination.

And because it depends mostly on user input and not an administrative team, there isn’t really a lot of region neglect in terms of content.

If you want to keep in touch and share ideas with people who share the same interests as you, then Pinterest is the place for you. Free and very cross platform friendly, this app allows you to “pin” everything from recipes to home ideas, to humorous quotes, to your bulletin board for later review. You can search through randomly or browse by category or even rediscover things you’ve already pinned from the free Android, BlackBerry 10 or iOS mobile versions.

For the blogger in you, Tumblr is a nice place to start. On Tumblr, users can share photos, videos and text, so you can create a page dedicated to your cat’s antics or a page with inspirational quotes, sort of like a mini blog.

The free app lets you manage multiple blogs and view and reply to messages. Plus, its offline support lets you post, like, reply and reblog even when you’re away from a connection which means you never lose an idea or moment again. With fresh new looks to both the iOS and Andriod apps mobile blogging has never been easier.

These are just a handful of many social apps and websites out there, so don’t think that Facebook is the be all and end all of all social media and interaction. These sites do offer some reprieve from the mainstream, even though one can’t seem to totally escape as everything seems to have Facebook integration.

But still, I hope I have turned you on to something new that you can use in your day-to-day activities — and if there are any other good social sites or apps you think I missed, then drop me a line.

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