A recent article by Elliot Marrow on JeffBulas.com lists and reviews 5 useful tools to help those frustrated with information overload – especially with Social Media. These applications also take away the “non-starter” excuse that engaging online ( and that includes social media) will take up too much time. I not only agree with Elliot Marrow’s point about the potential for overload, I also agree with the applications and review listed. I use Flipboard on my iPad to curate the many items needing my attention as a busy entrepreneur.
Here are 5 cool apps to save you from what sometimes seems to be a social media overload.
LikeHack is available now and is an intuitive approach to social news. This social news reader is designed for people who value their time, and it goes beyond a glorified RSS feed and really delivers some interesting benefits.
LikeHack is appropriate for professional and people who need their news from many places and quickly.It is designed for busy people because it saves and stores posts you’ve shared and liked on Facebook and Twitter and learns what is most interesting to you.
What do I really like about LikeHack?
- Saves time by collecting everything for you
- Helps to make sure you only see interesting content
- Allows you to read the news even without internet access
- Lets you only use one app for multiple sources of content
Facebook is a busy place, and it is easy to get overloaded and frustrated, especially with friends posting everything they find online. LikeHack makes sense of all the information going through your feeds and can figure out what would be most interesting for you. While doing this, it is also able to get rid of the annoying filler articles that take up space, which the BBC picked up on when they wrote.
LikeHack offers a good selection of sources for news including Facebook and Twitter, but also many industry blogs, which is almost obligatory nowadays.
Even though it is still in the beta stage, Likehack really does deliver what it says. For social media specialists, entrepreneurs, and people who simply value their time, Likehack is something worth trying.
ChannelCaster is for people who need extra customization while still saving time by collecting from a variety of social sites. It is really useful because it implements popular categories like news, sports, and entertainment.
The mobile app comes with some benefits for those who are looking for something a little different. ChannelCaster:
- Allows you to crowd source your news feed to have a personalized experience
- Helps you to enjoy all kinds of multi-media available on social sites
- Makes sure you can relax knowing that you are not being tracked by software
Crowd sourcing is really handy in social media. ChannelCaster allows every user to add content which lets you to have access to articles that are interesting to more people. The app uses a “tier” system which helps cut down on clutter and puts the most interesting content in one place, which saves time and is easy to use.
ChannelCaster’s ambitious compiling of media can make it a bit complicated, the user interface may take some time to get used to, however it is worth it in the long run. AndroidSpin.com recently wrote that at first they were scared because it reminded them of the Windows Phone 7 tiles, but then it turned out to be a great app, which I have to agree with.
Another benefit that is worth mentioning is privacy. We live in a world of online tracking and privacy invasion, but ChannelCaster decided to not use trackers, but at the same time not providing simply cookie cutter boring content.
ChannelCaster provides some interesting options and if you are willing to take the time to understand the interface, you can have a good multimedia experience.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Flipboard. It’s the app where you can make your own online magazine and fill it with news and media. This app has a very nice user interface that brings the same feeling of a magazine, but with only interesting articles and no filler. Flipboard is different by offering an app that is:
- Familiar and easy to use with a magazine-like layout
- Aesthetically pleasing which keeps you reading
- Entertaining for creative people because you’re able to design your own magazine
- Personalized by being able to share entire magazines you created with friends
Flipboard also allows you to connect with up to 12 social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or even 500px.They provide a tile that shows only the best stories and most interesting articles in order to save you time.
The founders of Flipboard, Mike McCue and Evan Doll, originally had the idea for their app to be on a desktop. This year they made the computer version available, stating
“Being able to take all that and bring it to the desktop and go back to our earliest roots is kind of cool.”
The app is available on computers and mobile devices, and can be accessed through a widget. No matter where you are, you can use flipboard, it is a nice benefit to have that kind of flexibility and it has become something everyone is moving to.
Flipboard is a rewarding multimedia app which can keep you entertained as you create and share magazines; however that can also be a drawback. If you care about getting your news and social news without much work or time, perhaps there are better apps for you. Flipboard is definitely more interactive than many other social news options, but if you have time and like to really customize how you get your news, give Flipboard a try.
According to the name, this app should make social news feel like it’s part of you, and it does a pretty good job of that. My6sense would work well for people who mainly use Facebook and Twitter because it integrates really well with those services.
- Allows you to quickly understand the interface
- Lets you save time by never having to leave the app to connect on Facebook
- Helps you not miss anything by being able to stay connected in one place
These are great features and they save time from constantly exiting and opening other apps.
Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social networking sites and so My6sense has focused on optimizing the experience with these two sites. RSS feeds along with many other input options allow you to feel the benefits of the app, though some might feel it is lacking with no support for many other popular social sites. However, My6sense does a good job of bridging Facebook and Twitter in a custom news gathering app.
My6sense makes the list because it integrates so well with Facebook and Twitter. If you see something that interests you while reading the social news on your phone, you can simply share it with all of your friends on Facebook without ever having to leave the app. From experience, My6sense just makes sense for the avid Twitter and Facebook user.
5. Pulse News
Pulse News is a super clean and smooth operating social news app. The app is very aesthetically pleasing, causing the late Steve Jobs to say, “It is a wonderful news reader” and has recently been acquired by LinkedIn.
Pulse News has been doing well because it:
- Enables you to save time by just reading summaries
- Allows you to travel lighter because it can sync across all devices
- Helps you to easily understand the interface
Pulse News features a “dual-view” feature that allows you to read a summary of the news article if you just don’t have time to read the whole thing, or with a tap of your finger you can see the real article on its original website. This is really a great feature because the point of social news apps is to save you time while you are staying well informed.
With Pulse News all your social news is in one place. The app also allows you to sync across all devices. The accessibility and time saving possibilities make Pulse News a good all-around social news reader for those who just needs a general news reading app.
You might find that it is too simple and feel that it is incomplete, but if you want a simple interface with a collection of all your social media, Pulse News wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
Wrapping it up
Social media news apps have to strike a good balance between the amount and quality of content, as well as time savings and usability. Some apps are designed for serious time savings while giving you excellent options for sharing, such as LikeHack, while others are designed for a creative social experience such as FlipBoard.
These five apps make sure that you will enjoy your experience while staying connected and spending time the right way. Professionals and social media users alike owe it to themselves to give an app like this a try, and see what it can do for you.