13 BlackBerry apps for the social networker

If you own a BlackBerry, you can get some great apps from the App World. We have a list of the top 13 social-networking apps.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
4 min read

Though the iPhone gets much of the attention when it comes to mobile apps, RIM recently launched its BlackBerry App World to compete with Apple. I've been using apps from that store (and a few other Twitter clients that can be downloaded online) that bring social networking to the social networker. Some are better than others, but they're all worth trying at least once. And they're all free!

13 social network apps

Facebook The BlackBerry's Facebook app is the best social-networking app in the App World. It lets you update your status from your phone, upload pictures to your profile, and send messages to friends. One of my favorite features is the option to use a Facebook friend's profile photo as their image for your BlackBerry contact list. It's really well put together.

ITookThisOnMyPhone ITookThisOnMyPhone lets you snap pictures on your BlackBerry and upload them to your ITookThisOnMyPhone profile. You can also upload all those pictures to your favorite social network, like Facebook or MySpace. It didn't do it as quickly as uploads in the Facebook app, but it still worked as advertised. ITookThisOnMyPhone is useful for those who want to send pictures to their social-network friends. But if you already have the Facebook app, stick with that.

Loopt As long as friends have Loopt installed on their BlackBerry or iPhone, you can find them through the app's location-based positioning, and you can send messages. You can also share photos and comment on their images. Messaging friends is easy and sharing photos works relatively well. But finding those friends is made difficult at times, since the location-based service isn't perfect. I like Loopt, but it needs improvement.

MySpace The MySpace app on the BlackBerry App World is outstanding. You can send and receive MySpace mail and update your status. Like the Facebook app, you can also upload pictures to your profile from your BlackBerry. That feature works well. That said, I found that sifting through friend profiles is more difficult than it should be. But it's still worth downloading if you're a MySpace user.

Qik Livestreaming The Qik LiveStreaming app lets you stream video from your BlackBerry. It boasts an extremely simple (and slick) interface that gets you streaming video in seconds. And the quality of that video is quite impressive. I streamed a few times over the past couple days. There was little lag. I enjoyed using the app.

Snap2Twitter Snap2Twitter is automatically added to your BlackBerry photo options. When you take a picture, you can upload it to your Twitter profile and add text. Your followers will see the text and a link to the photo. It works relatively well, but on a few occasions, I had some trouble uploading the picture to Twitter.

SnapMyLife If you want to share even more photos, SnapMyLife, which also operates Snap2Twitter, will help you do it. It doesn't let you upload snapped photos directly to a social network. Instead, you can add them to your SnapMyLife page. They can then be edited and shared with friends and family. You can also view friends' photos and comment on them.

TwitterBerry Though it's not available in the BlackBerry App World, TwitterBerry is one of the most popular Twitter clients for your BlackBerry. Simply surf to the TwitterBerry page, download the app, and you'll have the full power of Twitter on your device. You can check your followers' status, update your own, and send direct messages. It works over the data network, so you won't need to worry about SMS charges. If you're a Twitter addict, TwitterBerry is a must-have.

UberTwitter You won't find UberTwitter in the BlackBerry App World, but once you download it from its homepage, you'll find a full-featured Twitter client complete with the ability to upload pictures, send videos, and even update your Google Talk account with your latest tweet. The app is still in beta, so it might be a little buggy at times. But it's one of the most capable BlackBerry Twitter apps you'll find.

Visible Vote Mobile Visible Vote Mobile isn't your typical social-networking app, since it doesn't let you share photos and videos or tell the world about yourself. But it does let you track legislators, bills being pushed through Congress, and how your representatives are voting. You can then vote on those same bills with other Visible Vote users. The app lets you view friends' votes, find people of like-minded political views, and contact your representatives when you fell it's necessary. It's a highly informative app that's worth checking out.

Where Where uses your BlackBerry's GPS to help you find places in your area. You can search Yelp to find local hot spots or Eventful to find events. You can also find a car through ZipCar, if it operates in your area. Where is an extremely useful app. I highly recommend it.

Xenozu Xenozu is simple: it brings YouTube to your BlackBerry. You can search YouTube, see featured videos, and save some of your favorite clips. The video and audio quality are outstanding. That said, I was displeased with the app's design--it looks like the company ported its iPhone app design to the BlackBerry. That made it difficult to use. But if you want YouTube on your BlackBerry, you need Xenozu.

Yatca Yatca is another Twitter client that you won't find in the BlackBerry App World. But unlike TwitterBerry, which is full-featured, Yatca is quite simple and basically lets you update your stream or send replies. It delivers updates to your BlackBerry's message Inbox, which might be a nuisance. Consider it a runner-up to TwitterBerry and UberTwitter.