With a new year comes the inevitable development of new technology, including apps.
But first we want to make sure you haven't missed out on any of the gems 2014 had to offer, with a focus on social apps.
A few trends in social apps rose and fell last year, and the the emphasis is no longer on the bog standard friend, follower and fan style feeds as heavily utilised on Facebook and Twitter.
With a shift the previous year towards photo and video sharing on Instagram and Vine, this year saw the huge growth of instant share apps like Snapchat, Slingshot and Tiiny.
Snapchat was launched way back in 2011 and has been on the rise for a while now, but in 2014 a slew of updates meant it mushroomed to the point where Facebook reportedly offered $3 billion dollars to acquire it in the latter part of the year.
It’s stats currently stand at an estimated 100 million monthly users and 700 million snaps per day. So are you snap chatting yet?
With the ability to send photos and videos to be viewed for only 10 seconds before they ‘self destruct’ and to choose exactly who sees them, it’s a great way of unflattering your Facebook.
Did you see something that your best friend would love but your auntie doesn’t need to see? Send it on snapchat, or add it to your ‘story’ for 24 hours of access for all your snapchat friends.
Snapchat plays out as a little bit of a game, the scoring system is a little vague but it’s every bit as addictive as candy crush.
Facebook has since been trying to crack a share of Snapchat’s market but by all accounts failing to do so. Slingshot is their latest attempt, and rather than sending private shots the idea revolves around ‘slinging’ photos into the app sphere and awaiting responses from your followers.
It doesn’t seem well thought out or purposeful, unless you like sharing your day with complete strangers who may or may not respond, but who knows what 2015 will bring.
Tiiny is a Google Ventures attempt to get in on the act, which is certainly more promising than Slingshot.
It looks a little bit like the lovechild of Snapchat and Instagram, as there’s no self destruct and your looping videos and photos stay on your profile until you want to delete them, but you can reply in a Snapchat-esque way, and even group your ‘Tiinys’ into threads.
For those of you who wants to share your deepest, darkest confessions with strangers, rather than photos with your friends, that dream is now reality, with new anonymous apps like Whisper, Secret and Super.
So here’s a secret for you*, Whisper gets 2.5 billion page views a month. That’s a lot. Anybody can anonymously post on Whisper, in the form of some text overlaid onto an image.
Users don’t have a profile, and can change their usernames as often as they wish and, beyond their ‘Whispers’, there’s no way to contact them.
If you do choose to contact someone privately, you can pin protect your chats. The same goes for any Whispers you <3 or create. So if somebody gets access to your phone and your Whisper app, all they can really see is the public postings from other users. Sneaky.
Secret was, by all accounts, the original secret sharing app, but it’s not as well designed or good looking as Whisper and has been overshadowed. There are no images, and the only positive seems to be that public conversations are more easily navigable as they are collated into a thread.
Super is almost like Whisper’s cooler big brother, mostly because the style of the designs available are less feminine. The anonymity aspect is a little bit confusing though - with ‘Anonym-ish’ as an option when you post, and the option to forward to Twitter and Instagram, mix-ups and exposed secrets seem more likely here.
If you're more inclined to share your desires in the hope of someone purchasing them for you, we now have the ability to fancy, pin or heartit.
Pinterest has been around for a whole four years now, but this year it came in second for growth compared to all other social media networks.
With 111% growth in active users it’s highly likely that it’s come to your attention in 2014. Pegged as the social network for bored housewives, it’s become so much more than that.
With inspiration, information and now e-commerce, the feed tailored to your pins is becoming invaluable to marketers.
Fancy is essentially all about e-commerce, more so than the DIY and inspirational aspect of Pinterest. It has stylised photographs of luxury items and if you ‘fancy’ it, you can buy it. Your fancy page essentially becomes a wish list or showcase of what you already have.
We heart it is another image-based network to ‘organise and share the things you love’.
This year it launched its first batch of in-stream ads and has been cited as one of the ’10 happiest places on the internet.’ There’s no danger of it over taking Pinterest, but for breadth and depth of inspiration We heart it provides another avenue.
We can't wait to see what this year brings to the technology table but we would live to say RIP to a few apps that have become almost redundant due to certain updates this year, including but not limited to hyperlapse and photo sphere.
No longer do we need to faff with separate apps to create a time lapse video, or a slow-mo, or a panorama. They’ve been built into the camera updates of most smartphones and will soon be obsolete.
We'll continue to update you throughout the year! Join us on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, and sign up for our newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out.