We live in a socially networked world. There’s no getting away from it. And there seem to be as many social networks as people — there are networks for sharing pictures (Instagram, Flickr), for swapping short messages (Twitter), for pouring out one’s heart and soul (blogs), for saving articles one likes (Readability) and of course, those that let you do a bit of this and a bit of that (Facebook, Google+, et al). Small wonder that many a person’s day starts with logging into one website and service after another, which can get tedious.
Fortunately, as in most things in life these days, there are apps that let you access different social networks on a single screen, saving you the fuss of switching from one to another. And one of the best is not an app that you install on your tablet or your phone, but one that runs right within your browser — Streamified.
Getting Streamified is as easy as going to streamified (.me), putting in a username and then adding your social networks, by giving the app permission to access them. At the time of writing, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Instagram were supported. One can also add Google Reader, Google+ and RSS Feed subscriptions, and even Instapaper, Readability and Pocket (the new name of Read It Later for those who might have forgotten) and links to news and blogs. Our advice is to start small, as every service you add is going to slow down the app a little bit more.
Then it’s time to sit back and watch the app weave its magic. All your social networks are accumulated into one compact Web page, with entries and posts arranged one below the other, and the social network’s icon in the corner indicating its source. You can comment on what you see, retweet it, share it, and of course, make fresh posts, with images. And if you think a particular entry deserves closer attention, just click on it to be taken to the proper social network page, without needing to bother about logging in. Finally, for the times when you get fed up of seeing everything from everywhere, you can also focus on the updates from a particular social network or blog. Pretty neat.
But it isn’t perfect. If you are the type who has a splendidly hectic social network life, you will find the service taking its own sweet time to start and sometimes, some updates just do not make it — we spent a whole day wondering why we were seeing nothing from Instagram, before restarting the browser. Speaking of restarting the browser, steel yourself to do it at least a couple of times as Streamified can slow down matters a bit. And not all social network functionality is available on the site — you cannot “favourite” a tweet, and cannot share a Facebook post. And we wish they would jazz up the interface, which looks a trifle on the plain side.
But on the other hand, it aggregates all your social networks (well, the most popular ones, anyway) in one handy window, and works well not just on your computer but also on your handset or tablet’s browser. It has an iOS app as well (which looks very snazzy) and an Android one is believed to be on its way.
One page to unite them all. No messing around with passwords and logins, or going Alt+Tab as you switch between browser windows or applications. Oh, and did we mention it was totally free? Well worth a try for all ye burdened with a socially networked life, say we.