The 12 Best Social Networking Apps

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Photo: Kevin Smith, Business Insider

Earlier this month, we published the App 100, a collection of the best across all platforms.realising that 100 apps is a lot to digest, we decided to break up the list by category.

Over the next several days we’ll republish the individual sections to help you get through the best apps easier.

Here’s our definitive list of the best social media apps you can get today.

Facebook, for keeping up with your friends

The number one social network in the world is still trying to figure its place in the mobile world. Facebook has an app for almost every platform. Until recently, Facebook was a slow, clunky experience on the iPhone and iPad. But the company's latest update is noticeably faster and lets you upload photos almost immediately.

There's still a lot of work to go, but Facebook's newest apps are a step in the right direction.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone

Foursquare, for discovering new places to visit

Foursquare is the champion of check-ins. With over 20 million users, Foursquare helps you to keep in sync with your friends and what they are up to.

We love the badge system, which encourages visiting new and unique places. Foursquare is also an excellent way to discover new places to visit based on your friends' recommendations.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, Blackberry, and iOS

Google+, a way to connect with your friends via your Google Account

Google+ is the search giant's social network. And it happens to have a very excellent mobile app for Android and iOS.

A neat feature is the ability to video chat with up to 9 friends with mobile Hangouts. And if video isn't your thing, the app allows you to chat with a friend or all your friends at once with the text-based Messenger

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS

Imo.im, for chatting on all popular instant messaging services

Imo.im is a convenient way to stay on top of your instant message conversations.

The app is available for all major mobile phones and allows you to keep in touch with friends through Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Skype, MSN, ICQ/AIM, Yahoo, Jabber, Hyves, VKontakte, Myspace, and Steam.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, Blackberry, iOS and Nokia.

Instagram, for sharing photos

Instagram changed the way we share photos using our mobile phones. The app is fast, fun, and simple.

With Instagram, you snap a photo, add a funky filter and other effects, and upload it to a news feed. Like any other social network, you can follow people to keep track of their photos.

Facebook recently agreed to buy Instagram, so expect tighter integration between the two services in the coming months.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS

LinkedIn, for keeping up with your professional contacts

LinkedIn's mobile app provides an excellent way to keep up with more than 175 million members worldwide. The app is well designed, syncs with your phone's calendar to help stay on top of meetings, and even lets you view and save recommended jobs.

Price: Free

Available on: Android,Blackberry, iOS, and Windows Phone

Official Twitter App/TweetDeck, the best ways to check Twitter

The official Twitter app allows all the Twitter features you're used to while on the go. You can Tweet, retweet, share photos, videos, web pages and more.

TweetDeck is the go-to app for Twitter power users. Tweetdeck allows seamless maintenance of multiple accounts in a handy column view.

Price: Free

Available on:

Official Twitter: Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows Phone

TweetDeck: Android, iOS, Mac OS X, and Google Chrome

Path, an alternative social network for mobile devices

Path takes the social network concept and makes it even more personalised. Path is meant for you to connect with family and close friends, limiting you to 150 connections.

Unlike other social networks, Path is mobile-only, meaning you can only access it on your smartphone or tablet.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS

Pinterest, for sharing photos of things you love with friends

Pinterest has taken the world by storm. The social network encourages you to find things you're interested in and 'pin' them to your virtual pinboard. Friends and fans can then follow along and comment or re-pin your items.

Just recently, the network released Android and iPad versions of its popular app.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS.

Tumblr, a great way to blog and follow cool people

Tumblr is one of the fastest growing blogging sites around. Think of it as Twitter meets WordPress. Tumblr lets you follow blogs and create simple updates for text, audio, photos, quotes, etc.

The Tumblr app gives you access to your dashboard of the blogs you follow and lets you create your own updates on the go.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS

WhatsApp Messenger, for sending free text messages over the web

WhatsApp is a cross-platform, real time mobile messenger. WhatsApp is an excellent alternative to text messaging because there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. Think of it as a version of Apple's iMessage or RIM's BBM that will work across any device.

Price: $0.99, for iPhone. Free for all other platforms.

Available on: Android, Blackberry, iOS, Symbian, Nokia S40, and Windows Phone

Yelp, for discovering new restaurants and places to visit

Yelp is an easy way to find information about local businesses no matter what city you're in.

The app has a huge list of reviews for restaurants, bars, shops, and more. It's one of the best ways to get recommendations or tips on local venues.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS

Now, make sure you take a look at the full list.

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