If there’s a phenomenon which defines the technological evolution of the last five years that’s social networking. Likewise, if there’s an action that build social networks up that’s “sharing”. The first social networks that showed up were about sharing personal info, thoughts, photos and videos as well as other media files. Then, smartphones entered the scene and that was a window of opportunity for the emergence of a new type of social networks such as location sharing or microblogging. However, the evolution didn’t stop there. Although it’s increasingly harder to innovate and to find creative and added-value social networks, there are coming up new ways of sharing content with your friends. This is precisely what we’re going to focus on this week: social networks apps for Android that bring a new approach.
Let’s start by Gowalla, a Worldwide social guide made by users. It works like a traditional social network: you can add friends, post, like places that you like, check your friend’s Wall, etc. Actually you can sign up this social network via Facebook Connect. Gowalla allows you to discover places that you friends have visited, local suggestions and experts recommendations. This is a kind of “safe bet” guide. Likewise, you can also check-in places around the World, add comments and suggestions, share photos, recommend places to your friends and much more. The only catch is that you cannot add new cities or places, that’s a developer issue. In order to make it more social, it would be great to have freedom to add cities and places.
Glympse is a social network for sharing location with some features that make it different from other apps of its category. First, unlike most of social network, there’s no need to create an account. Glympse works different: you just need to download the app and share your location in real-time. You can add your profile pic, view your check-in history, integrate other social networks… without signing up. Actually it gets linked to your phone. Second, it allows you to share location by different channels: Share via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook or SMS. Share where you are and where you’re going. Share expected time to reach the place, distance and average speed. Finally, you can attach to your sharing a link to Glympse website, in order to let the people you’re sharing with tracking where you’re and where you’re going. They don’t need to create an account either. Glympse doesn’t have a badges system. It’s a basic sharing app with interesting features but no frills.