Top Apps of 2014

Silverback Social’s Top Apps of 2014

With 2015 less than two weeks away, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the year that was – from a personal, familial and business standpoint. As digital marketers at Silverback Social, we reflect in a similar way: via revisiting business strategy that brought forth favorable results for our client base, understanding key drivers behind the success of company’s in 2014, and using data to predict future trends.

Our 2014 “Top Apps” installment is comprised of eight diverse apps – for efficiency, convenience and leisure – that will create value for you, make life a bit easier, and arm you with the digital resources necessary to thrive in 2015.

Here they are:

  • N3tworkN3twork revolutionizes the way we consume video content on our smartphones. The app, exclusive to the iTunes App Store, acts as your personal television network and makes content recommendations based on your documented interests. N3twork features include the ability to watch content on Apple TV or Chromecast, upload and clip videos, and build TV channels for your friends and fans.

  • Uber – Operating in 120 cities (across 37 countries), Uber has emerged as the most sizeable threat to traditional, in-city transportation methods (i.e. – taxi’s). The app allows travelers to summon a personal driver, at the touch of a button, as opposed to wasting time unsuccessfully hailing Manhattan cabs during rush hour. Leveraging your smartphones GPS’s capabilities, Uber sends the closest driver (made up of unlicensed chauffeurs) to your location upon request. Payment, for rides, is charged to your credit card.

  • 1Password1Password is a free application that aggregates all of your annoying passwords, creating one strong, unique code for every site. What’s more, the app remembers them all for you and helps you log onto mobile destinations – seamlessly – with one single tap. 1Password’s key features include: storing logins and identities, and filling out credit card information (at checkout) without typing.

  • VenmoVenmo is a free, peer-to-peer mobile payments app that serves as your digital wallet. It has become wildly popular among the millennial segment, as a way of divvying up rent and utility bills, restaurant tabs and entertainment event tickets – all with the objective of avoiding cash transactions in mind. The New York-based company also doubles as a social network, broadcasting financial interactions between app users on Facebook & Twitter. Venmo is, reportedly, looking to leverage its technology and vast user base to begin offering credit. Stay tuned…

  • Seamless – Seamless is an online food ordering mobile platform, which makes accessing your favorite restaurants “quick and easy”. The recent GrubHub company partner features a compelling user interface – both on it’s mobile and web platform – and texts users when their orders are out for delivery. This app promises a unique dining experience, and is a must download to fulfill mid-day, cuisine urges.

  • Paper – This unique app allows you to capture new ideas “quickly and beautifully”, whether designing a new product, kitchen remodel or a business plan. Still confused? Serenity Caldwell of MacWorld provides more clarity: “[This Apple app] is a series of moleskine-esque digital notebooks (in landscape orientation) where you can use remarkably real simulations of brushes and pens to sketch, ink, marker, or watercolor.

  • Hyperlapse – This amazing app helps you create time-lapsed videos, utilizing Instagram’s stabilization technology. Leave the “bulky tripods” and “expensive equipment” at home, says the Instagram-backed company. Shooting time-lapse footage with Hyperlapse gives you an instant cinematic, quality feeling. No signup or account is required for product use.

  • Spotify – is the music streaming app we all know and love. They pride themselves on providing an incredible variety of quality music content and exclusive projects, in a visually appealing mobile app and web platform.

What are your favorite apps from the past year? Did any of them make this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Votopin: A Mobile Social Network Where Your Opinions Matter

I’m a bit of nerd. But I’m a nerd in the sense that I’m passionate about certain, specific things. I don’t just like sports. I love ultimate frisbee, because it’s an awesome hybrid of aspects from other sports, there are typically no referees, and the playful, laid-back culture of ultimate players is unlike that of any other sport I’ve played. I don’t just like music. I love djent (a sub-genre of metal) because it combines really heavy, crushing, staccato guitar breakdowns with intricate time signatures and complicated, melodic riffs. I don’t just love movies. I love psychological thrillers because they keep me asking questions, make me doubt the obvious, and let me try to predict twist endings while being delightfully creeped out and kept on edge.

I have all of these specific interests. These are the things I’m passionate about, and they bring me joy. So how do I find other people with interests like mine? How can I connect with people who have such a particular affinity for certain things?

Well I found the answer: a mobile app called Votopin.

Votopin is a new opinion-sharing app that enables you to express your thoughts on certain topics by creating “Votocards.” These topics can be anything: music, politics, beverages, movies, technology, current events, sports, holidays, and much more. You can choose a topic, create a Votocard about it, and share it with people who are following you on Votopin as well as with your friends on social media. When you create a Votocard, you are asked to answer a few questions about the topic, choose an image of a facial expression (or upload your own!) that describes how you feel about the topic, and provide any additional comments you have about the topic you’re reviewing. The Votopin app’s interface enables you to do this quickly and easily, and once you’ve finished your Votocard you can show it to your friends by email or text message, or by sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s a Votocard I created about Thanksgiving Day:




You can also see what topics are trending, what the general public mood is on a certain topic, and even gender and age demographics:



But wait, there’s more.

What makes Votopin different is that it connects you with other users who have similar interests. It does this by calculating “Likeness” scores between you and those users based on your interests and your reviews. This is extremely valuable because when you read a review of something you like or something you’re curious about on Votopin, you’re reading a review written by someone who’s into the same things you’re into. So, for example, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to see the new Hunger Games movie, you can read some reviews written by people who like what you like, so you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you should go see it.

As you make more Votocards, you can discover more people who like the same things you like. This app is a great way to learn about other people’s opinions that are relevant to yours as well as connecting with people who share your interests. So you can find new friends who are as crazy about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book series as you are. Or you can see how people feel about the scandals involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and share your thoughts with them.

One suggestion I have for Votopin is to include a feature that enables users to interact with each other more directly. If I see that someone has created a Votocard about a book I’ve just recently read, and his or her opinion is totally different from mine, I’d like to be able to initiate a conversation with that person to discuss what we both liked and disliked about the book. Instead, I can only follow that person or send them a friend request. Some kind of chat or messaging feature would add a lot of value to the app, in my opinion.

There are a lot of opinions floating around out there in the social world. Votopin organizes them based on your interests and preferences and does a great job of making sense of all the noise. So how will you make your voice heard?


Would you use Votopin to share your opinion? What would you share? Tell us in the comments below.




Succeeding Because of Social; Learn from The Must-Try App Waze

At first glance, the app Waze seems like any other GPS map showing traffic. So what has set it apart from the rest and made it the fastest growing traffic and navigation app? Nothing but its captivating use of social media.

Many companies struggle to get people engaging with their brand and have difficulties incorporating social into their business. Waze is now setting the example for businesses everywhere, by turning the mundane everyday task of traffic into a very social affair.

As a snapshot of the app’s success, Waze was awarded the “Best Overall App of the Year” at the Mobile World Congress and was bought by Google in June. We can all learn from Waze’s incredible success story; here are a few key points that help them succeed at keeping their users engaged (and in many cases addicted) to their app.


Traffic is a pain. But it is a pain for everyone. Within the first 5 minutes of using Waze you learn that there is something comforting seeing hundreds or thousands of people (the app informs you exactly how many “wazers” are in your area) stuck in the same frustrating situation as you. The community established makes you feel a part of something bigger on your (sometimes lonely and lengthy) commute. To deepen the sense of community and tie in a social aspect to the app, Waze allows users to connect with their Facebook friends, letting you to see where your friends are on the road. The ability to “Map Chat” and share pictures with other wazers adds to the excitement of the social media connection in this app.

Contribution and Engagement

Unlike most traffic resources, Waze strongly encourages their users to actively report traffic, cops, and accidents. With each user having their own appearance and nickname, Waze does a great job at making every traffic report feel personal. By being the first one to alert others about an accident up ahead, you not only feel the instant gratification of helping others, but also get notified by Waze of how many people have “thanked” you for alerting them. And from the other end, it is a surprisingly refreshing feeling getting a traffic alert knowing that one of your many wazer friends has done a kind deed to help you out. Simply by making the delivery of traffic reports more social, Waze has added an emotional effect to the typically boring news.


Along with the fuzzy feeling you get from helping out others, Waze has also set up an awards system to further motivate you to engage with the app. The system is all based on points; you earn points by reporting events around you or simply driving with the app open. Reaching higher levels grants you access to customization for your wazer and a shield, sword, or crown to show off your points to other users. By introducing this competitive feature, Waze keeps users engaging with the app and sharing their rank via Facebook and twitter (thus exponentially growing their amount of users).

Who knew that traffic could be so social? Businesses in every market can learn from Waze about how to incorporate social and use it to your advantage. Know any other companies that are ahead of the pack because of social? Share below.