By Gustavo Quiros
Have you ever walked on campus and happened to see everyone on their smart phones and thought to yourself, “I wonder what apps everyone is looking at?”
After going around Fitchburg State campus interviewing and conducting a survey on over 50 students, it was possible to narrow down the many smartphone apps that undergraduates use from day to day on their mobile devices. The survey results showed the top 5 social media apps used on campus.
“Social media makes it so easy to know what’s going on around campus,” Jennifer Scott said. “Plus it’s more fun than reading the news or emails.”
Many students, according to the survey, said they are constantly on social media apps and feel pretty well aware of what’s going on due to the constant streaming of information through these apps. The world we have created for ourselves today makes it possible for an app like Twitter to give you better news updates than actual news sites and stations.
These apps make everyone that uses them a possible journalist or photographer so the amount of digital media on a day to day basis is overwhelming and the possibility for new information is endless. One of the best apps for news as well as useless, but interesting information is also the top app used by most FSU students, the famous social media network, Facebook.
Facebook is the big daddy social network of them all, according to pocket-lint.com. Facebook has acquired over 50 companies since 2005, including some of the apps we will see later. Facebook seemed to be number one on the survey when asked for the top 5 most frequently used apps.
The reason being is that most likely with Facebook, you are not limited to only one thing. With this app you can keep in touch with old friends and make new friends by being part of the same groups and liking similar pages. The options are seemingly endless as more and more people use this social network to obtain their news and gossip.
The app that falls in the number 2 spot is Twitter. This app with its ingenious creation of 140 character messages makes information short and straight to the point. Twitter began in mid-2006 and at the time was so innovative because of how limited the messages were in terms of character length and for this reason people seemed to respond positively very quickly.
Today at FSU, the app finds itself at number two according to the survey. “It’s a good way to get information quickly without the clutter of too many pictures and videos,” said Anthony Innamorati. “Twitter is where it’s at.” Tweeting has become a sort of pop culture sensation since its inception that even the iPhone has a dedicated tweet ringtone. With the ability to apply hashtags to certain events, it is possible to see live news feed updates of a particular occurrence.
Number 3 on the list of top 5 social media apps at Fitchburg State University has brought back meaning to the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Instagram, with its simple design, has shown that sometimes all people want to do is look at pictures. On Instagram, the real emphasis is on the thousands upon thousands of photos that make everyone a photographer by applying filters to habitually everyday images, turning them into “masterpieces”.
Instagram, a company acquired by Facebook for about 1 Billion US dollars has proven its place in the mobile world because everyone can take a picture and turn it into a beautiful memory for the world to see. If you simply want to take hundreds of selfies and show them to the world, Instagram lets you get as creative as you want. “Sometimes I don’t feel like reading anything, and looking at pictures is more entertaining,” Kevin Joseph said.
Instagram lets you upload images in a 1×1 square that make all images the same size and thus forcing people to be a little more creative with the limitations the app has provided.
Number 4 on the list is famous for self-destructing after the allotted time given by the sender- Snapchat! This clever little app lets you take pictures or video with a limit of one to ten seconds of viewing time before the media disappears and the viewer cannot see it again. According to the survey, this app is not immediately used for news or information but simply as a form of entertainment between two people.
The app initially launched in 2011 and over time has become a fun way to communicate with friends and visually share chunks of your day with the Snapchat story feature. “Snaps” can only be seen by contacts when added as a friend, therefore not exposing your privacy to the rest of the world, but only a select few that you choose.
However, a leak was reported by Snapchat on October 8. Supposedly 98,000 pictures and videos were recovered from a snapsaved server by a hacker. These pictures were then posted to a snapsaved website that was created after the leak. People could go to this website type in their snapchat credentials and access the pictures you had saved. If any came up, you would know those were some of the photos leaked. This website has since been taken down, but the damage is done. Snapchat users should be aware that leaks can happen and therefore use discretion when sending certain “snaps”.
Last, but certainly not least on the list is a fairly new app that is climbing the ranks. The app is none other than Yik Yak, an anonymous social media app that lets users anonymously post what is on their mind in a 1.5 mile radius as well as read, reply to, and vote up and down to comments posted. The app, launched in late 2013, takes the best of Twitter and makes it so anyone can post what they are thinking with no shame. The result creates an incredibly irresistible urge to read what others have to say about college life and scenarios.
“I love reading what people really feel like saying on Yik Yak,” said Amanda Baker. “People don’t hold back and that’s when you get the truth.” Like Snapchat, Yik Yak serves as a form of entertainment. It seems that this is one of the apps college students (and others) use to get people’s honest opinions due to the nature of the app. There is no responsibility and no one is held accountable for what they say, making it somewhere students can speak freely and express their true feelings.