This year was a hot year for social networking apps, with the launch of the Google+ app, Facebook Messenger and many other social apps that bring people together to share news, wisdom, answers, laughter and the best and worst of everything. Here are ten must-have iPhone social apps that launched or had a major update in 2011 that you definitely don’t want to miss.
Amen launched in 2011 at TechCrunch Disrupt with the goal of crowdsourcing the best of everything on the planet. You share your opinion about a person, place, or thing. For example, investor Ashton Kutcher says "Lean Back is the best manly dance move ever." Do you agree? Now you can "Amen!" or say "Hell No!" to statements from Ashton and others or add your own!
Facebook Messenger (Free)
In 2011, Facebook spun-off its chat feature into its own app, competing with Huddle from Google+. Chat real-time with your Facebook friends individually or as a group. Send and receive messages through Facebook chat and get mobile notifications when you receive one. You can also message your contacts who aren’t on Facebook, and they’ll receive your message as a text. Facebook Messenger is one of the must-have social apps of the year.
Foursquare, the very popular check-in service, just released version 4.0 of their iPhone app that leverages iOS 5. It has a new feature called Radar which will notify you about what’s happening in your local area. It will also let you know when more than three friends are checked in at a location close to you.
Google launched its Google+ social network in 2011. With the Google+ app, you can view your Stream, chat using Huddle, view and upload photos, and participate in video chats with Hangouts. If you are a serious social media person, you have Google+ on your iPhone.
IntoNow, a social TV app from Yahoo!, recently released a new version that works on the iPad in addition to iPhone. Tag TV shows you’re watching and see who else is watching. As social television becomes more prevalent, and companies like Apple and Google actively innovate to bring more social media to TV, this is an app and a space to watch.
In August of 2011 LinkedIn revamped its mobile application on the iPhone. The app was reorganized around the Updates stream and allows users to view their LinkedIn invitations, profile and connections. It also lets users interact with their LinkedIn groups.
Path’s recent overhaul changed it from a “fairly mundane scrapbook” to a daily journal with an excellent user experience. You can share your daily life with up to 150 close friends, including photos, comments, songs you’re listening to, location or even the fact that you’re sleeping.
Share virtual pinboards in art, design, architecture, travel, photography and more. Discover, like or re-pin other images and get inspired. You can add images right from your iPhone, and optimize them using the new Touch Up functionality released in August 2011.
Get answers and ask questions right on your iPhone in technology, startups, travel, the meaning of life and more. Browse through recent questions or click “Shuffle” to get a random question. Questions are heavily startup- and technology-centered, but not exclusively. You can find out what it’s like to live in a favaela or what foreign words are difficult to translate into English, though of course if you want to discuss Google, Facebook or Twitter there’s plenty of that.
Twitter just released the “new new Twitter” and an updated iPhone app to go along with it. The navigation now includes a Home, Connect, Discover, and Me section. Much of the utility of the old design, which came from Tweetie (and was beloved by power users), has been eliminated, so if you prefer your Twitter with more personality, there’s always Tweetbot.