Making Mobile Social Apps Work for You

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eHow Tech Blog

With about half of the U.S. population carrying around smartphones these days, it just makes sense to stay connected to your networks while you’re out and about. Here are some of the key features of the latest apps.

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are

Smartphones can identify your location, which opens the door to lots of things you can do. For example, use Facebook to let your friends know where you are by checking in at the coffee shop. Yelp will help you find the closest dry cleaner recommended by your network.

Connect with the Real World

The cameras built into smartphones allow you to scan QR codes, those matrix-like barcodes cropping up on everything from posters to bike racks. They make it simple to connect with and share information through social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Socialqrcode is just such a website that helps you create a QR code for this purpose.

Another way to think about connecting with the real world is to post images and videos from where you are and share them with your social friends. Capture a picture of that funny dog at the park with Instagram and share it with your friends instantly.

Stay in Touch with Friends

Of course you can use Facebook and Twitter while mobile, but mobile social networks like Tagged focus on helping you meet new people. Other third-party apps, like Tweetcaster and Hootsuite, simplify the process of staying socially active while mobile. For business people, the LinkedIn mobile app keeps you up to date with your network’s latest news feed.

Limited in Scope

The downside of some mobile app versions of social sites is that they’re not as fully featured as their Web counterparts. The Twitter mobile app, for example, doesn’t allow you to block or add to a list. If you have a Facebook business page, all you can see is the Wall, Info and Photos. And you can only post as yourself; no switching to your business page identity while on the go.

And of course with many mobile apps, functionality is limited when you’re offline. Twitter and Facebook allow you to view what’s already been loaded to your device, but you can’t post to Facebook. However on Twitter, your post will be saved as a draft until you can get back online.

No Smartphone? Twitter to the Rescue.

Most if not all mobile phones can send and receive text messages, so you can still be socially mobile to some extent with Twitter.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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