If you are just using the official apps and websites to manage your social networks, you aren’t using them to their full potential. A few choice tools to help you…


Tweetdeck | Windows, Mac, TweetDeck.twitter .com Twitter’s default interface is good, but it lacks the tools that frequent tweeters might need. Instead, try Tweetdeck. Here, users can create a series of columns for their timelines, interactions, direct messages, searches, and more.

It has the ability to schedule tweets to be posted in the future ­ and if a hashtag or a user is clogging your Twitter feed, you can even mute these through Tweetdeck. Perhaps the best part is its ability to handle multiple accounts at once.

Tweetdeck has a unique “custom timeline“ feature wherein you can choose among the people you follow, so you’re still following a whole bunch of folk (helpful to keep up appearances), but you don’t have to see all their tweets.

Tweetdeck is not only a web app that works from any browser, but it’s also available as a download for Windows and Mac.

Plume | Android, Twitterific | iOS Both Google Play and the iTunes App Store have plenty of good Twitter clients, but several of them are paid. Among the free apps, Plume on Android and Twitterific on iOS are worthy options. Both apps are ad-supported, which can be annoying, but you can remove ads by upgrading to their respective premium versions.

Plume does most things right: It can handle multiple accounts, it has the ability to mute keywords and users, and you can add columns for lists, searches and more. It can even be connected to your Facebook account to manage that, but it is primarily a Twitter app and we would recommend using it accordingly.

Twitterific used to be a paid app but decided to go free with the fifth version. It is lightweight and beautiful and comes with several themes to adjust the look to your liking. One of its cool features is the ability to save links to read later in services like Pocket, Instapaper and Safari. Also, you can mute keywords and users, customize your timeline and more.

If you are willing to pay for an app, then you have better options. On Android, Robird is perhaps your best bet for Rs 124, while on iOS, Tweetbot is the best Twitter client for Rs 300.


Adblock for Facebook | If you want to stick with the Facebook interface but only want to clear the many ads and annoying pop-ups, then all you need is a modern browser and an extension.

Adblock for Facebook, made by the Adblock Plus team, is an easy-to-use option. You can choose to block all annoyances or only annoyances in the sidebar or in the news feed. The options are varied ­ you can check the details for each option to see what it will remove ­ and include “Friends you may know“, “Similar To“, “Trending“, “Upcoming events“ and lots more. Our recommendation would be to block all annoyances.

Octofeed | The idea of Octofeed is to improve your Facebook experience and minimize unnecessary interactions. For example, images are displayed in full size, saving you the trouble of clicking on them to open. Similarly, videos start auto-playing when they are in focus on your screen, and stop when you scroll away. The responsive design fits any size of the display, while the fonts make it easier to read. You can also comment and like any post, as well as read others’ comments. It’s a beautiful new way to browse Facebook.

Facebook Purity | FB Purity does most of the same things as Adblock for Facebook, but it offers more flexibility. You can add filters for certain text or phrases, sort your news feed by different parameters like date, expand the width of the news feed to fit your large screen, hide all photos and videos, et al.

Be warned, the options can be overwhelming, but that’s just what you need to tweak Facebook to suit your preferences.

Tinfoil | Android Facebook is notorious for tracking user data. Indeed, the Facebook app on your Android phone is constantly asking for your location, device ID and other private information. If you want to keep checking out who poked you without giving away all your data, Tinfoil can help. But you’ll first have to uninstall the Facebook app from your phone.

Tinfoil is essentially a standalone browser window to access the mobile Facebook website, which looks and behaves exactly like the Facebook app. However, Tinfoil won’t track your activities. It is an easy way to have a private Facebook experience ­ plus since it isn’t bothering your phone for other details, it will also be easier on your battery.


Report for Instagram | Android, iOS When you appreciate a tweet or post on Facebook, you retweet or share it.

Instagram has no such mechanism.

Repost is a simple app to do just that.

social networkingOpen the app to browse your feed or likes, or even search and browse through popular photos from around the world. Choose a picture and Repost will add a watermarked bar to give credit to the original user, and copy their description in full, tagging it as “#Repost“ so as to respect their copyrights. You’ll then be taken back to the Instagram app to post this creation. And just like that, your followers can see what you liked.

Negatives | Android, iOS For a whole new way to browse your Instagram, try Negatives. Instead of a chronological timeline, Negatives divides your account by the users you follow, presenting their photos as a slideshow. It’s a lovely interface, especially if there are a few users whose photos you look forward to more than others. Of course, like any app, you can’t post new Instagram photos from this; it’s only to browse your feed.

Picdeck | pec If you’re an Instagram power user ­ or if you use it professionally ­ Picdeck is the tool you have been waiting for. Essentially, it’s like Tweetdeck for Instagram. Create columns based on your interests, interact with likes and comments, and more; but you can’t manage multiple accounts. Again, you won’t be able to create a new Instagram post from this app, you’ll still need to use your phone for that.


Feeding | Another column-based web app, Feedient’s focus is on bringing all your social networks together. Each column is a different network, with the current options being Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You can thus see all your feeds, interact and post updates. However, Feedient is more about consuming content than creating it; think of this service as a “social reader“ rather than a full-fledged social media management suite.

Buffer | Android, iOS, Where Feedient is all about reading, Buffer is all about posting. This app hooks up all your networks ­ Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ ­ and lets you post updates. But here’s the neat part: it will analyze your network and automatically send those updates when you are bound to get the most engagement from your followers.

PrivacyFix | Android, iOS, Anti-virus maker AVG has a nifty tool to make sure social networks aren’t infringing on your privacy without your knowledge. PrivacyFix is an extension for web browsers as well as an app for Android and iOS.

Install and log in with your networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. You will see a list of different privacy parameters (such as YouTube history; if you are findable by e-mail; if Facebook can match you by face detection) which you can toggle on or off. Each set has an explanation for what it does, so you can choose accordingly.

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