Social media is the thing, for now. Like radio, what television lacked was two-way communication. Social media delivers that in a brand new way.
People want to matter. We may not all feel the need to be important but we do feel the need to be greater than nothing. Being marginalized is tantamount to being killed for many of us, today. Enter social media.
Social media tools permit us to have our voices be heard, share what we’re seeing, and to take in that some content from the vantage point of others. Most of us carry around a small supercomputer (from standards of 10 years ago–maybe less) that has an incredibly clear display, mobile connectivity, and a camera that rivals some DSLRs. We are enabled to share.
I’ve compiled a list of social media apps that I believe have changed us. These were not necessarily the first and may not be the best. But, we can all agree that these apps changed planet Earth forever.
Life Changing Social Media Apps
The apps that I’m going to write about here are game changers in ways that are obvious and in some ways that aren’t. Here’s my list:
- YouTube. Now globally revered as our second-best search engine (compared only to Google, itself), YouTube is becoming a go-to for people to be entertained, interact, learn, and share with others. Use one (or both) HD or 2k video cameras on your phone and share commentary, produce DIY videos, or even distribute small VERY independent films. For me, YouTube is addictive.Khan Academy was the best indicator of what this tech could do and we continue to be amazed with the ingenuity of YT users everywhere.
- Google+. Coming later than Facebook and even Google’s own Orkut (now defunct), G+ is a wonderful platform for sharing images and engaging in highly focused communities. What makes Google+ so important is its phenomenal input into the Google search engine rankings. Trying to generate traffic for your blog or YT channel? Don’t forget to use G+.If you’re doing social media, it’s because you want to get your message out. G+ will help you to do this.
- Buffer. Do you manage multiple social media accounts for yourself, a not-for-profit, or a business? Buffer is the way to do it. Take photos with your phone and post them, instantly, to multiple social media venues (although perhaps not ALL social media venues). Further, you can set up a schedule that each social media account follows. (Hint: post based upon best recommended times and days of the week.) But, now, no longer did you have to be there to click the button. In a world that was becoming completely overwhelming, Buffer started giving us control over our social media-addicted lives again. Thank you.
- WhatsApp. No other social application has such strong international appeal. Tied to your phone number, your free WhatsApp account connects you with a vast network of people around the world who use it to not only chat and share media, but also to make VOIP calls that have pretty good quality.What’s the big deal? Skype did this as did tons of other chat clients. True, but WhatsApp ran to the mobile world and has continued to garner support due to this choice, it effectively reduced texting costs before others engaged in this practice, and made our world a little smaller as it brought dear people closer to us from across the seas.
- Snapchat. Originally used by those engaged in sexting, this app continues to grow into a strong platform. (Do not Google “leaked Snaps”.) What makes it amazing is that Snapchat puts a production style of video that is characterized by jump cuts into the hands of everyone. No one has to do crazy editing, it’s just like that.With the ability to make text overlays, doodles on top of images, and to even join in to larger regional feeds, you can make quite an impact. Snapchat changed our lives because we can share well-produced “Snaps” in order to communicate our demeanor, tone, inflection, and nonverbal facial expressions. This was the biggest change I can remember on the mobile platform.
- Twitter. Although its user base is changing, Twitter forced us to focus our thoughts to 140 characters and to find mainstream collections by which our “Tweets” could be shared via the hashtag.The generation that succeeds my own believes that the ‘#’ symbol on everyone’s phone is the hashtag key and not the “pound” key. That’s completely revolutionary. The fact that almost every social media venue now uses the hashtag testifies to its enormous power and the impact Twitter has made on our world. #gotwitter
Facebook basically created the social media “type” after “Away Messages” of ICQ-era chat clients were no longer cool. (I still remember my ICQ numbers (plural), by the way.) Periscope brings easy, live, unlimited video sharing to the world; someone else may have already done this, but they do it the best. YikYak localizes the communique but removes personal responsibility from the mix. BEME takes the phone from out in front of your face (a serious victory) for all of us complaining that we want our loved ones to be “here, with us, now!”. Google Glass (I’m an Explorer!) is a great idea but just looks to shameful to wear.
Each of these above mentioned apps and devices changed our world or forged some new pathway but the six apps above fundamentally changed the way the world communicated. They’ve left their mark and now we’ll never be the same. They are life changing social media apps.
If you’d like to open some dialogue or suggest other venues that I may have ignored, please drop these in the commentary!