I guess I'm not a big social media fan. I don't feel the need to let my friends and family know my whereabouts, my mood, or what I ate for breakfast yesterday, and I feel less disposed to give strangers this info. I'm not an overly private person, it's just that I'm not inclined to advertise my life.
My daughter takes a different view. She see social media as a way of expanding her world and the people she includes in it. This is especially true in business, and I can see her point. In fact, I have tried to embrace some social media for my photographic efforts. I have pix on Instagram, for instance, and have recently started to publish them on Facebook. I have a few followers. I call them my "real followers" because these people actually decided to follow me on their own and where not added through one of those services where you can pay to have a bunch of people follow you. (I'm not sure if that's narcissistic, sad or both.)
The recent policy changes on Instagram have me rethinking social media in general. I likely won't do anything drastic, like quit using Instagram, especially since they've addressed my concerns about their policy changes that focused on how they use the photos I post, but I probably won't put my best work out there. I'll just continue to use it to keep my friends and family aware of some of my photographic efforts. In this regard, I've also decided to look at other social media tools, and as luck would have it, my editor, Bryan Chaffin, pointed me to a really cool service he found at CES 2013. So, I'm going to use it to kick off this installment of Free on iTunes.
Whip - The Best Social Photo Album [35.7MB, iPad only. Developer: Arcsoft]
This is an interesting service, it lets you put together a small collection of photos that you can arrange in an album, complete with labels, album cover, and a selection of background music, then publish the album for the world to peruse.
The albums you create can be viewed through any browser. You can also view albums made by other folks. Creating albums is easy. Grab pix from your device, arrange them however you like, give them captions, and there ya go. It only took me a few minutes to create my "Life's a Beach" album and I'm pleased with the results given what little effort I put into creating the album.
It's another way to get all of those photos you've taken on your last vacation off your phone and in front of the people you care about. It's a free service, and you can use your Facebook account if you want.
Tumblr [7.8MB iPhone (3GS or newer), iPod Touch (3rd gen or newer), iPad, iOS 5 or newer. Developer: Tumblr Inc.]
If you want a bit broader view of what others are pushing to the world stage then you might give Tumblr a try.
This app collects bits from all over the Internet, including your bits and bits from your friends, and creates a living mosaic of photos, text, and videos. You create an account and pick pick some fairly general categories like sport, entertainment, technology, and such. Then you get to fine tune your sources. If you're not a fan of a certain site then you can deselect it. Once the account is set up it's off to the races.
Tumblr is mesmerizing the first time you scroll through the 'Explore' tab. All sorts of stuff fills the scrollable collage, and each can be active, show video clips for instance. Tapping on any of them brings that genre front and center. I could easily spend hours scrolling through some of the categories.
Regardless of what other social media you subscribe to you'll want Tumblr on your iDevice.
Showyou [13.7MB, Any iOS device capable or running iOS 6 or newer. Developer: Remixation Inc]
If you're looking for something that centralizes your search for web-based video then Showyou is your app.
As with the others apps I've talked about here you create and account and select the genre that interests you. From there Showyou grabs vids from all over based on your choices and presents them in a collage (which seems to be the way folks are doing it these days).
Tap the vid you want to watch and scroll right or left to watch the next or previous. The clean interface makes it easy to navigate. Like the vid and/or share it, then move on to the next.
If you've got vids of your own to share you can do that too, as well as create playlists and favorites. It's Instagram for video.
And there you have it. Three services that can help expand your social world. Enjoy.
That's a wrap for this week. I hope your 2013 is off to a good start for you. See you next week right here on Free on iTunes.