Being sociable has never been trendier. Humanity has the capacity to keep in touch, keep tabs, and keep a finger on the pulse of just about anything. Despite all the griping from book publishers about people reading less, we’re actually reading more than ever before, only now, it’s texts, tweets and a myriad of methods used to reach out and touch someone.  

Social media apps are all the rage, but unless you’re fresh out from under a rock, you’ve probably heard about all the big hitters already. But there’s also a slew of lesser known niche apps aimed at helping you connect with the outside world, all without ever leaving the safety of your personal universe. So, go ahead and stick your toe in; the water’s fine.   


1. Vine

Think – Twitter for videos. To Vine, is to create and share videos about 6 seconds in long. It doesn’t sound like much, but good Vines zip by in a blink, enticing you to watch and share again. 

In their purest form, the best Vines often go viral, influence trends, entertain and inform. From silly cat videos, to emerging artists. It’s really easy to create and post your own Vines, or you can remain in the audience and enjoy each 6 second masterpiece.  

The cool thing about the app, is when you scroll through the posted Vines, each one begins playing automatically as it occupies center screen. So, there’s no time wasted on loading, buffering, or hangs; it’s just all Vine, all the time. Some users are really innovative, creating Vines that play out like trailers for big budget movies, while other Vines are just of someone’s sandwich; hey, they can’t all be winners. Be sure to check out On the Rise and Popular Now for the latest Vine hits.  

iOS | Android 


Part photography, part social discovery app, VSCO is a collection of high quality pictures taken and shared by amateur photo buffs and professionals alike. The app is very modern and minimalist with its presentation, and also boasts a collection of powerful filters and tweaks that almost rival Photoshop.  

You can post individual photos for all to admire, create collections based on chosen themes, or just collect images to journal for inspiration. Some pictures include details like, ISO, f-stop and geotagging.   

Additional features include: 

– VSCO Grid – a hand curated collection of the best pictures from around the world that’s updated daily, so there’s no shortage of stunning photography to admire.  

– Shop – buy an array of filter presets to give your pictures that professional touch. 

– Before & After – compare originals to edited photos with a simple click.  

– Advanced Camera Controls – like manual focus, shutter speed and ISO. 

iOS | Android


3. Periscope

Think – Twitter meets live streaming. This app literally lets the outside world in, via live broadcasts from your gizmo’s camera. It’s totally voluntary, and totally voyeuristic. In reality, few people are up to anything so special that it needs to be broadcast around the globe 24/7, but hey, don’t let that stop you.    

Live streams are posted to the app and available instantly for anyone to view. At its best, Periscope can illuminate current events as they happen, take you behind the scenes of a killer event, and perhaps broaden your perspectives. Followers can give hearts to the scopes they love, which presumably translates to more exposure and ego gratification. I bet Andy Warhol never saw this one coming! 

Additional features include: 

– Replay – in case you missed the excitement live, you can replay the magic up to 24 hours later.  

– Private – just choose your “in” crowd and broadcast live for their eyes only. 

– Twitter integration – tweet a link to your followers so they can tune into your live broadcast. 

iOS | Android


4. Star Maker

Think – Karaoke meets Idol, with a dash of YouTube.  With over 30 million wannabes and counting, StarMaker goads you to sing along to your favorite hits and then post videos of your performance for all to see.  

Get discovered, or just get embarrassed. This one has late night bender written all over it. But there’s also a lot of really talented people looking for their big break.  

The app boasts a slew of chart topping hits by stars like, Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, and Rihanna, just to name a few. But this isn’t just another karaoke app. There’s backing vocals, scrolling lyrics, and yes, even Auto-Tune to help you hit that money note and spare every howling canine within earshot! Videos can be posted as public or private, and users can vote and comment on their faves. There’s contests, auditions and user spotlights, so dive in and help discoverer become the next big thing. 

 iOS | Android

5. Dayre

Dayre is your childhood diary reinvented, and runs with the notion that everyone has a story to tell.  

Think of each day as a new entry in your daily journal, only this story can be told with pictures, videos, stickers, GPS locations, and yes, even words. Okay, so it’s more like your childhood diary on steroids. Just select the icon for the entry you’d like to make, then let your creative juices flow.  

The idea is to just log your daily activities as they happen, then each day’s events can be read back as a story punctuated with pictures, videos, stickers, text, and the exact locations where life happened.  Sure, it’s a tad self-indulgent, but then, that’s the stuff social media is made of. At its best, Dayre is an innovative way to share life’s little moments with those that matter to you most. 

Additional features include: 

– Quotify – fortune cookie style nuggets of wisdom. 

– Custom filters – to help make your pictures pop. 

– YouTube integration – link your favorite videos. 

– Personal URL – your own custom web address that can be accessed via phone or PC.

iOS | Android


6. MapMyDogWalk

This one is part social media app, part fitness app, and does exactly what the title suggests. Plus, you may even make some new 4-legged friends out of the deal! 

The app has an excellent autopilot mode that records your walk via GPS, then places the route on a map for others to follow. You can add notes and pictures, discover walks submitted by others, and search your area for new places to take your pooch for a stroll. 

The app counts (human) calories burned, duration, pace, distance, speed and elevation. Each walk is considered a workout and you can share your daily walks with friends, family and fellow users, plus submit your own likes and comments. There’s even a music player so you can jam to your favorite tunes while your dog tinkles and sniffs everything in sight. The app aims to keep you motivated to hit the trail daily and breathe some new life into your run of the mill dog walk. 

 iOS | Android


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