Social Tiles is a new iOS app from Devigners, and is currently highlighted in the New section of the App Store’s Social Networking category. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, though the App Store description suggests this will become a paid app at some point in the future.
Social Tiles describes itself as a “modern UI pinboard for Twitter profiles and Facebook Pages.” In practice, what this means is that it allows users to add Twitter users and Facebook Pages (not profiles) to a monitoring list, and then see at a glance what their basic metrics are.
Adding a new Twitter account or Facebook page to Social Tiles is a simple matter of pulling down from the top of the screen, selecting the relevant social network and then entering the desired username of either the Twitter user or Facebook Page. The app does not have a facility to search either Twitter or Facebook, so the user must know the exact username of the relevant account in order to add it to their list. On the “add” screen for both Facebook and Twitter, the app posts a random (and rather cheesy) social-related “tip” on the screen, and if the user finds it somehow inspirational or useful, they may share it on either Twitter or Facebook.
The app is extremely well-presented, with a distinctive Windows 8 “Metro”-style visual aesthetic and good use of sound — though it’s worth noting that the sound effects used are exactly the same as those heard in Realmac Software’s excellent to-do list app Clear, and it’s not entirely obvious whether or not these sounds are library files or original copyrighted creations.
The main trouble with Social Tiles, though, is that it just doesn’t really do anything useful. It’s quite convenient to be able to see at a glance the Likes, follows and “people talking about this” figures for various social media pages, but it’s impossible to actually do anything with the pages from within the app itself — tapping the “eye” icon on each account simply opens either the Twitter or Facebook app to the relevant page. There’s no means of tracking metrics over time, no means of browsing through posts or seeing which were the most popular from within the app, and no means of interacting with the accounts. Some App Store reviewers have also criticized the app for limiting itself to just Facebook and Twitter, too, when other services such as Instagram have APIs that would allow access to user metrics.
Ultimately, Social Tiles is a pretty-looking but mostly useless app, sadly. With some additional functionality such as historical metrics tracking it could be an interesting solution for those managing a large number of social accounts; as it stands, however, it’s little more than a nice-looking curiosity of little benefit to its users.
You can follow Social Tiles’ progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.