What’s your social media type?

Just about everyone is hooked to social media. Every morning, we check notifications, read suggestions from friends, chat with some and comment on people’s travels. If you can’t help but log into your Facebook timeline while in the loo, or can’t wait to click group selfies and post them when out with friends, here’s a profile test for you—identify your personality type.


The GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, barometer and various other sensors in smartphones were created just for you. You have a Fitbit or a smartwatch and a gazillion apps which auto-post on your timeline. They tell others what speed you’re running at, which restaurant you’re exiting, what you are listening to now, even how many times your toilet was flushed today. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but someone must surely be thinking on those lines.

Food for thought: In a paper published in the Optics Expressjournal in June, German researchers displayed a sensor system for smartphones with potential for use in biomolecular tests—monitoring diabetes, for example. What’s more, your smartphone might soon be able to analyse your sweat and blood to provide more statistics. Can’t wait to get your hands on that one, can you?


You love to rant, on the weather, on how someone has got it completely wrong, on how you would love to see people think before they speak, on the politics of someone else, or even on things that the government is doing. You love writing in CAPITAL letters, sometimes getting the spelling wrong (who cares about editing when one’s so angry), and usually follow all the celebrities on Facebook and Twitter, spending a copious amount of time correcting them.

Food for thought: If you’re mirthfully grinning at this type, here’s something to worry about: According to a study published in the Personality And Individual Differencesjournal in September, you have the classic symptoms of a Dark Tetrad (no, not Darth Vader). You are an explosive cocktail of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and a classic Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.


You travel everywhere with your smartphone, clicking the lunch you’re having, clicking friends at a pub even before you say hello. In fact, even if you were at a beautiful beach, you’d be mentally thinking of ways to capture and post it perfectly first. You also like to take pictures of your cat, sofa, the street, the car…and take time to add filters, crop, add mood before posting the photograph. You’re mostly found on Instagram and sometimes on Facebook.

Food for thought: Enhance your gadget with nifty accessories. Try Olloclip (Olloclip.com, $70-80; Rs.4,400-5,200) for zoom, or a Joby Gorillapod (Rs.1,450 onwards; Joby.com) to add stability to those pictures. If you’d like to outsource to a bot, get Moment Case (Momentlens.co/case), a smartphone cover ($69.99 onwards) with a lens, which automatically takes pictures through the Moment app. Happy clicking.


You don’t post. You don’t “like”, comment or retweet. You’re the quiet one, scrolling through the timelines, people’s pictures and posts, your social presence barely visible. On Twitter, you’re listening to the people you follow, observing rather than posting anything.

According to a survey published in April 2013 by First Direct, a telephone- and Internet-based bank in the UK, there’s a whopping 45% of you on Facebook, watching what others are saying and rarely participating. Oh, and you call yourself “observers”.

Food for thought: It’s hard, but try to participate and interact online. You might find a sudden inexplicable increase in the number of offline friends.


You thrive on anonymity. You like to have various personalities on social networks, constantly use fake names and give out little or no information about yourself. It might be paranoia about your privacy that makes you do this or simply the fact that you like hiding behind a mask and peering into others’ lives. Your online personality might be completely different from who you are in real life. You’re found mostly in forums and on Twitter.

Food for thought: Shift to Whispero (Whispero.com), an app that lets you stay in touch without exchanging any personal information.


You are the ultimate knowledge-seeker, going through the timelines and Webs looking for good, edible, sensible information to share with your fellow social hogs. You have various RSS feeds that come to your phone, news and social apps and give you the latest in your field, and on people that you follow online. You see, like, share, retweet anything that comes your way. You are also a slacktivist, sharing posts of missing children, funds needed for the sick, petitions, etc. Many a time, you download something from Reddit and share it across your Facebook and Twitter timelines.

Food for thought: Tried Glean (Get-glean.com) yet? Built especially for Android devices, Glean offers interest-based news from over 15,000 sites. Use it and it’ll learn what you like to read and give you your favourites and trends in a single feed.


Most of your posts feature your child doing something. You can’t help but post pictures of your child making a putty face, smiling, frowning, doing the Dubsmash, with cake all over the face, giggling, looking all so cute. You love to post constantly on Facebook and in your family WhatsApp groups, with a singular comment on what the child did today and what your response was. You’re not alone.


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Digital star wars

Celebrities are fast realizing the power of social networks and are working hard to engage their fans. Here are some lessons you can learn from them…

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has over 8,117,186 fans on Facebook and 7,550,474 on Twitter; at any given point when he logs in to a social networking site, at least 7,550,474 individuals will listen to his opinions and thoughts. And they respond to him, all the time.


Social networks make it easier than ever for everyone to be heard, but real-world celebrities still tend to get the lion’s share of attention. This fan following can make a new release a hit or drive attention to their favourite causes, if they can hold your attention more than other celebrities, of course.

“The superstars can share their personal experiences and get creative in terms of how they want to present themselves to their fans off-screen, which was never possible before,” says Puneet Johar, co-founder and managing director of To The New, a digital services company which has just released a report that compares the activities of Bollywood stars on Twitter. Bachchan has the most followers, and the number has grown most quickly too, at 87% over 2012. Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Akshay Kumar and Sonam Kapoor are among the other fastest growing Twitter users. What can the rest of us learn from this?

Ashish Joshi, vice-president, digital, and business head, Fluence, a digital media company that handles the online lives of Bachchan, Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor, believes that celebrities really want to increase their digital reach. “One aspect of it is to give something precious to the fans but another important thing that’s there in the back of their head is brands. Advertisers today evaluate a celebrity’s penetration on social media platforms while figuring out a fee for them,” he says.

Keeping it real


Having a social media team doesn’t mean someone else is tweeting for you. “We do not actively control a celebrity’s Twitter page,” says Joshi. “They have to do their own communication. But what our creative team does is build a story around his or her personality, an online story which our sales team can sell to brands as a concept.”

Once they have figured out a story, they guide the celebrity and package the content well. Joshi gives the example of Tuesday Memoirs, a series of Facebook posts where his team uploads pictures of Bachchan from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s on the sets, or during tours, and writes stories around them. “These stories are precious to his fans, it increases his reach on Facebook, and the artiste loves the engagement it provides,” says Joshi. All posting, blogging, writing is done in consultation with the celebrity, though there’s a team from Fluence which acts on his behalf.

“Web presence has to be personal,” agrees Bunty Sajdeh, chief executive officer, Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment, which handles the accounts and online lives of sportspersons like Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Sania Mirza, and actor Sonakshi Sinha. “That is what the fans want.”

Updating Twitter, Facebook and other accounts every day, multiple times a day, is a full-time job though, and not something most celebrities can actually manage. “Virat Kohli tries to keep it personal but we have to help him out a little since he can’t give the fans enough due to his busy schedule,” says Sajdeh. His team keeps more than two million Twitter, and nearly 4.2 million Facebook, fans happy by ensuring all his activities are posted online, but Sajdeh says the actual interaction with fans remains strictly with the cricketer.

Ashwin Sanghi, author of The Krishna Key, who has over 100,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 600,000 on Facebook, says he uses automated tools to keep on top of social networks. He uses an app called Buffer to send updates he has saved in one block every half an hour. “I check Twitter only once in three days to check replies,” Sanghi says.

He adds that it’s important to distinguish between the networks. Facebook is for books and events, YouTube is for uploading lectures, Flickr has photos and Google+ has the articles he writes.

Faking it

The desperate desire for a fan following could lead a celebrity to buy followers and likes. A big following can make a difference, allowing a celebrity to get the next big project, movie, or sign a new deal. It can even make you a celebrity, as it did in the case of starlet Poonam Pandey(@ipoonampandey), who has over 450,000 followers on Twitter. “Paying for likes is foolish,” says Sanghi. “An inflated following might satisfy your ego but will give you no sales. It’s only valid for those who want to show to the world that they are being followed by a large number of people.” Fake likes and followers are so prevalent though that Facebook, Google and Twitter are trying to filter them out.

“For a celebrity, the number of likes and followers is extremely important as most brands check out their online engagement,” says Joshi, “but fake likes just doesn’t make sense. The engagement and reach is pretty low and platforms like Facebook now show how many likes you have and what’s the number of people who are talking about you.” He believes that it’s parameters like reach and engagement, rather than just numbers, that most advertisers are now looking at before signing a celebrity. After all, for a fan, the whole idea is to get closer to the star.

Show me the money

In October, Fluence, along with Twitter and ZipDial, a mobile marketing service, ran a campaign around Bachchan’s birthday. A fan who wasn’t on the Internet could give a missed call to follow the handle @SrBachchan and receive tweets on SMS. “It was a win-win situation, for us, the platform and the fans,” says Joshi….

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Beyond Instagram

Looking for image-editing apps to share your photos along with your tweets? Skim through our list.

Twitter and Instagram might have started off as a match made in heaven, but over the last couple of months, signs of a break up have been showing. First, Twitter deactivated the ability to transfer your Twitter friends’ list to Instagram, and this month, Instagram removed the ability to post images directly into your Twitter feed, forcing you to visit the Instagram site to see images.
At the same time, Twitter also added Instagram-style image filters to its iPhone and Android apps, and it doesn’t seem like the two networks are going to see eye to eye again anytime soon. But if you don’t want to use the official Twitter app, there are still plenty of alternatives with image editing and timeline image-sharing built in. We list some of our favourites.
Pixlr Express
One of the smoothest edit apps in the market, Pixlr Express offers you capability to minutely edit your photos in a simple, clean and easy-touch layout. It has four levels of editing. Adjustment can sharpen, whiten, remove red eye, touch up, focus, blur, crop, rotate and autofix. In Effect you can choose vintage, creative or default effects. Overlay adds masks to your photograph and Border adds various styles of borders.
Shareability: Pixlr supports Twitter, Facebook and some other photo-sharing networks, and has a feature that lets you share large, medium or small versions of the picture, depending on whether you want a fast upload or a high-detail picture online.
What we like: It’s simple, clean and has an easy-to-manoeuvre layout.
Get it: Pixlr Express is available on Google Play, iTunes, and web
Aviary Photo Editor
One of the most popular photo editors on Android, Aviary Photo Editor comes loaded with simple features like auto enhance to beautify your photographs with a single tap. Other features include enhance, effects, stickers, orientation and crop. You can edit colour brightness, warmth, contrast, saturation as well as draw and add stickers on to the image.
The Aviary Photo Editor is made by the same company which also created the image-editing filters for the official Twitter app.
Shareability: The app automatically picks up social networking apps on your phone to share with. You need to choose one by one to share as there is no share-all option.
What we like: The layout is simple and changes made to the photos are fast. The editor gives you a high-resolution output and you can customize your tools.
Get it: Aviary Photo Editor is available for free on iTunes, Google Play and Windows Phone. Effects packs such as Grunge and Nostalgia cost Rs.53.72 per pack (each pack comes with six filters).
If you are tired of photographs that look pretty, opt for Decim8, an editing app which lets you systematically destroy the photographs you have taken. The app applies filters which make your photos look glitchy on purpose. When you apply a filter through Decim8, it goes into the image file and corrupts the data resulting in hi-resolution messy images.
Shareability: Direct upload to Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, and Postagram.
What we like: You can save combinations of your own favourite effects and use them on more photographs. And the fact that the app comes with a warning sign: “This app is capable of completely destroying an image. If this doesn’t appeal to you, there are lots of apps out there to provide all the ‘safe’ effects you could ever want.”
Get it: Decim8 is available on iTunes. A desktop version will launch in 2013.
A popular editing app for professionals on iPhone, Snapseed was recently bought over by Google and made available on Google Play free of cost. Earlier this year, it was designated the Best Mobile Photo App of 2012 by the Technical Image Press Association (Tipa). The app which is meant as an editing tool for professional or advanced amateur photographers, comes loaded with different enhancement options for cropping, straightening, adjusting focus and fine tuning hues by adjusting white balance, saturation, contrast and more. You can even choose to use Selective Adjust and make changes to a part of the photograph (like removing shadows on people’s faces) and add on filters and borders for a finishing touch after your basic editing is done.
Shareability: With a click share to Google+, Facebook, Twitter and
What we like: It gives you a stronger control on editing your photo as well as undoing edits, filters or reverting to the original.
Get it: Snapseed is available for free on iTunes and Google Play (Android OS 4.0 or later)
Hipstamatic makes your iPhone feel like an analog camera. You can choose the type of lens, kind of flash and the film that you want, with hundreds of different combinations possible. Once you set up the shot, the screen looks like an analog camera, complete with a small view finder with a faux leather finish. And the final photograph is a replica of what you’d get with the same combinations in a real, analog camera….
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