We're in the generation of mobile media creation as well as social networking. Via our phones and tablets, we're now able to make works of art, and not just traditional printed art, but even movies and songs. Furthermore, because we've made 'art', there's a somewhat natural inclination to share it with the world. After a little while, like Twitter has done, communities are made where media makers also become media consumers and critics (on a very basic level). Here are some apps that help us share the media we create (plus a bonus media consumption app).
Instagram is like the baby first step towards media creation and sharing. It's a beautiful app for taking and adding effects to pictures, plus it's got a few skeletal social networking functions to it. After you take a picture, you can minimally adjust its size and add a variety of in-built effects to it. After you name your picture, it posts to your Instagram feed (like a Twitter feed) and people can like and comment on your picture. You can also share your pictures via Twitter and Facebook (an effective tool in the creation of the Instagram community). Like Twitter, you can follow and be followed by fellow Instagrammers. Right now, there's no tagging or sharing features but there are little communities of Instagram-arians, quite like the little community Twitter's created. Instagram is available for free in the App Store and will be in the Android Market shortly. For now, picplz is a suitable alternative.
Socialcam is like the Instagram of videos. It has the same Twitter concept of following and being followed and because the app is brand new, there's no community surrounding it yet. You can shoot a video only within the app currently (as opposed to Instagram where you can choose a photo from your photo library) and there are no effects you can add or edits you can make to it yet, though future updates should bring these features. It creates an account for you via Facebook (unlike Instagram where you create a username for yourself) and allows you to tag videos with your Facebook friends. The downside is that you can only log in via Facebook, having the option to log in with Twitter or even Orkut would be nice.
Shoot and share
I see huge potential for Socialcam especially because video editing software is now becoming more commonplace with mobile devices. After creating a little vignette in iMovie, adding it to your Socialcam feed and tagging your friends in it will be very cool. Socialcam is available for free from the Android Market and the iOS App Store for free.
Here's where things get really fun for those of you constantly on the hunt for new music. SoundCloud allows you to record sounds from your mobile device and lets you share them on a similar feed interface to Socialcam. From your phone, you're only able to add tracks that you've recorded, so you could be a four piece band recording your new song onto Soundcloud and share it with the world. It has the same follow-follower feature to it but, the community aspect hasn't been created via this feature. What's really cool about SoundCloud is that it's got a Desktop app which allows you upload your music directly from working on it in GarageBand, Soundtrack Pro, Pro Tools, Logic Pro and any other music making and editing program.
Soundcloud lets you play and record
On this app, your feed isn't restricted to people you follow but is wide open to people around the world making and uploading music. Several artists like Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake have uploaded their music via SoundCloud and several other previously unknown musicians have become better known via SoundCloud. This is where the community is created because there are frequent uploaders and frequent listeners and critiques. While you can't download the songs you hear, legally, you can choose what kind of music you want to listen to (including categories like classical and instrumental) and it gives you a feed of SoundCloud uploaded music in those categories. With SoundCloud you can upload to Twitter, Facebook, Myspace or email your track to share further. You can like and comment on your friends' tracks but there's no people tagging yet. SoundCloud is available for free in the Android App Market and the iOS App Store.
Beyond media creation, this is an app for media consumption. The apps discussed previously all have a very Twitter feel to them where it's sharing briefly and specifically. GetGlue has a very Foursquare feel to it where you 'check-in' to media you're consuming and you can get rewarded for loyalty. Media includes movies, television, books and video games and even thinking about specific topics (like healthcare reform), chatting about a celebrity or drinking a particular wine. Sadly websites haven't been added to the list yet. You can make friends on GetGlue and see their feed of what they're consuming.
Sharing your media consumption
Thinking about certain topics and chatting about a celebrity is really where the community angle comes in, because, while this is the exact function Twitter serves, the way you converse is via comments which open into a conversation stream. Anyone on GetGlue can comment on your activity. There are 'mayors' of different artists, tv shows and wines, except they're called 'gurus'. A lot of new tv shows, music and even wine can be discovered using GetGlue and you can share your consumption over your Facebook and Twitter feeds. GetGlue is available for free from the Android Market and the iOS App Store .