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Group test: what's the best social-networking tool?

The best apps for your online social life

PC Advisor reviews the best social networking software apps you can install.

5. Google+

Google+ likely won't challenge Facebook for social networking supremacy, but for many people, it will be an immensely useful product. It adds a number of innovative, not-yet-seen features to social networking, such as Sparks. More important is that it puts you in control of what you share with people; lack of that control is one of Facebook's greatest drawbacks. Incidentally, even if you're not signed up for Google+, you may have noticed some changes in other Google apps, such as a new "People Widget" on the right side of the Gmail screen that offers information about your correspondents (similar to the Rapportive add-on), and a new black navigation bar on some of the other services, such as Google Calendar. Google is obviously gearing up for a big push. Because the service is in such a limited release at this point, it's hard to know how useful it will be. If people sign up in droves, it will clearly become a must-have site. (You can get information about availability via the Google+ site.) If they don't, it will likely wither away. But if you're interested at all in social networking, you should give it a try as soon as you can - you may well find it a superior way to communicate with your friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

4. TwitScoop

TwitScoop is a great place to catch trends and news. If that's why you're on Twitter, this is where you need to be.

3. Nimble

During our testing, we found Nimble exhibited issues related to known issues connecting with the Twitter API; the vendor claims that they are being solved. Growing pains notwithstanding, Nimble brings a whole new dimension to contact management, allowing a business user to develop a clearer overall picture of a client's or prospect's personality and needs, and to more effectively use social media to improve and grow business relations.

2. DestroyTwitter

While DestroyTwitter makes it easy to take advantage of Twitter's features, it doesn't offer much in the way of analysis tools. If you're looking for statistics on your tweets, you won't find them here - you'll have to opt for a product like HootSuite instead. What it does offer in exchange is a small footprint and uncluttered interface that lets you use Twitter the way you like it. If that's enough for you, you'll find DestroyTwitter to be an excellent Twitter management tool.

1. Magic Folder Icon

Magic Folder Icon promises to let you change folder icons, and it meets that promise. Its features are sparse, and somewhat obtuse, but it does the job - and it's free. If you're bored with a wall of manila, it can be worth checking out.

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