Beyond Facebook: Apps to Know (Part 1 of 2)

The art of keeping up to date with social media, and knowing what the next best thing might be is nearly impossible. But I hope to highlight some of the social media apps that I have seen with increasing popularity with youth and adults alike. While these apps may never peak your own interest, understanding how they work can help all of us to have positive conversations with others (especially youth) about how we leave a digital footprint, and how our actions now may haunt us later. Social media applications (apps) are simply a tool – how we decide to use them can make them “good” or “evil”.

1. Twitter: 

Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.

Uses: Personal Learning Networks, news updates, learning about a hobby, trade, or skill, interact with like minded professionals from around the globe

Watch out for: Some content can be inappropriate for youth, constantly changing so hard to find things from even an hour before if you do not re-tweet it, lots of new language and terms to learn (tweet, re-tweet, mention, etc)

2. Pinterest: 

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos.

Uses: Useful for finding information about activities for programming (recipes, gardening, crafts, games), visual learners will find content more appealing, suitable for those who like to sort and organize information in notebook format.

Watch out for: Can easily spend too much time looking, or get distracted easily. Also need to verify information with a reliable source if not provided.

3. Snap Chat: 

Snapchat is a photo messaging application (“app”). Using the app, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps 1-10 seconds after which they will be hidden from the recipient’s device and deleted from Snapchat’s servers..

Uses: Take pictures of events as they happen to share with only a group of people who share the application on their phone.

Watch out for: Gives a false sense of security, users often forget that it disappears but still can be captured with other cameras or software. No way to archive pictures for printing or later use.

4. Kik: 

Kik Messenger is an instant messaging application for mobile devices. Kik offers swift text messaging service and also allows users to share photos, sketches, voice messages, and other content. Kik Messenger requires users to register a username as form of identification.

Uses: Notify a specific group of people of an upcoming meeting or gathering. Usually used for more informal groups, or non-business.

Watch out for: Is only rated for users who are 17+. Works in the same way as Snap Chat, but also allows to share more multimedia.

5. Whisper: 

Whisper is a free iOS and Android mobile app, which allow users to send messages anonymously and receive replies. Users post messages which are displayed as text superimposed over an image, similar to greeting cards.

Uses: Share information in a “meme” format  that you wish to remain anonymous.

Watch out for: Is only rated for 17+. Content can be sexually explicit at times, and not appropriate.

6. Instagram:

Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio now typically used by mobile device cameras. Users are also able to record and share short videos lasting for up to 15 seconds.

Uses: Post pictures to show information to people about where you are, or what you are doing, without “clogging” up your facebook newsfeed.

Watch out for: Check privacy settings, and be careful about what kind of pictures are shared and if their information helps to locate someone (or stalk).
Please note that we do not endorse any of these applications on behalf of the university. The purpose of this post is to give informative information about applications you may come across in the work environment. All opinions stated above are my own (Watch out for..)

As you can tell, there are a lot of applications out there. If you have suggestions for other apps that you use for work, fun, or otherwise, please let me know at gottke.4@osu.edu.

 

 

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