It isn’t about creating a Facebook,Orkut or Gmail account anymore.

Newer applications on networking sites has made the virtual world a perfect place to hang out

It isn’t about creating a Facebook,Orkut or Gmail account anymore. It is about knowing its brand-new applications well. With most youngsters opting for a virtual life,it is interactive applications that help them keep in touch with the real world. Poke,superscrap,chat rooms and horoscopes may be passé,but newer features are catching eyeballs. “These days,applications are try-before-you-buy. You can interact with the application before adding it and deciding where to put it on your profile,” says Subodh Kumar,a software geek.

From slapping a colleague and hugging a friend in the virtual world,networking sites have graduated to applications that let you adopt a pet or meet singles in your city. “It was through Zoosk on Facebook that I first met my current boyfriend,” says Aditi Nigam,a student who also enjoys jazzing up her profile. “My homepage on Gmail is either made to look like a rock concert venue or a tropical forest and my friends on Facebook are tagged with a nickname like Chocoholic or Night bird using the Random Musings application.”

“With strenuous work hours and stressful commute,these applications are a simple way to brighten up your life,” feels copywriter Renu Kanhai who uses the free SMS application powered by Orkut. This application lets you send unlimited free SMSs to anyone in India. Graphical Scrapbook is most popular with collegians. “Adding a bit of colour or drawing a cartoon along with the scrap makes it more personal,” says Kanhai.


Living in a metropolis like Mumbai,is reason enough for applications on events to gain popularity. Facebook’s Orienteering-Events Calendar chalks out every event in the city and makes sure you don’t miss out on getting alerts before any event. “Just clicking on this application gives you the list of various events which can help you update your social calendar,” says Alisha Baig,a PR consultant. “But one needs to be careful before using an application. Recently Slide’s Top Friends and Rock You’s Super Wall were banned for stealing information from profiles.”

There is something in here for everyone. For moms who enjoy gossip,there is Circle for Moms,for pet-lovers the Virtual Pet Society,and for music lovers,an application called Profile Tunes,where you can select a song that best depicts your mood on a given day.

“Interaction and interconnection is what makes these applications popular,” feels Divya Jaiswal,an MBA student. For instance,Mapster an application on Orkut lets you pin cities on an interactive world map to show your friends where you’ve been and lived. Chakpak Movies lets you rate the new releases or Best Posts on Facebook,brings you the best media posts from around the world.

Game lovers seem to be the luckiest of the lot with a large chunk of applications dedicated to Chess,Carrom,Billiards,Housie,Tic Tac Toe,Hangman and Chinese Checkers. “Playing indoor games has become a rarity today. You can relive your younger days here,” feels gamer Shailesh Acharya. But for the moment most of us are living our life here.