In today’s heated political climate, netizens from around the world have utilised seemingly basic mobile apps in creating political movements—online or offline. From the #MeToo movement to the 2019 anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong, a few mobile apps have aided and empowered advocates in several ways.
Here are some essential mobile apps for advocates who would like to be educated, updated, secured, and most importantly, be heard.
Amongst the most useful apps for advocates is the end-to-end live streaming app Bambuser. Bambuser has become widely used amongst Middle Eastern social advocates to share and record live videos.
The live streaming app came to light after the live footage of Egyptian activist Tarek Shalaby being arrested was filmed. In the recording, the Egyptian security forces were recorded physically attacking the protestors in background.
The recording exposed the violence and mistreatment towards political movers and shakers who were fighting to limit the military’s judicial power over the nation. Bambuser gives the digital audience an uncensored lens on current events being shot in real-time.
The live-streaming app can directly connect and send notifications of its live recordings to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter instantly. Bambuser offers a 14-day free trial and a monthly rate starting at $39.
American-based app Countable helps its users to understand and be updated on information regarding the moves local lawmakers make. The app does this by providing detailed research in summaries of upcoming and active legislation and following up on how your elected official voted on bills.
Video from YouTube
Countable is the perfect app for individuals who need a platform where they can be kept updated and aware of what is happening in today’s politics.
Signal is one of the most useful movement-building apps out there, especially when it comes to secure communication.
What sets Signal apart from other messaging apps like WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) is that it isn’t run by a company that could potentially sell out your information and message history. As an encrypted app, Signal enables you to delete messages without a trace.
You might find it surprising that an ‘everyday’ app like Telegram has made it in this lineup, but this private encrypted messaging app has played a crucial role in many of today’s digital movements. Particularly in the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong, Telegram was the key communication platform that helped empower the country’s protests.
The messaging app was also able to conduct real-time voting amongst its participants to help decide which next step to take.
Zello Walkie Talkie
When you’re out on the streets, phone calls aren’t always the most reliable and convenient way to get a hold of someone. Zello enables you to turn your mobile device into a walkie talkie.
Unlike the standard walkie-talkie, the Zello app’s performance isn’t hindered by a limited range or ‘making sure’ you get the right frequency. Zello is easy and faster to use.
Find My Friends
Imagine this: you and your friends are out on the streets taking part in a rally and you suddenly lose each other in the crowd. With emergency response apps like Find My Friends, you can instantly locate your friends without having to contact them.
The app can pinpoint exactly where your friends are situated by providing you with a map of the area, helping you to navigate to them easily.
This app helps you keep tabs of your friends and loved ones in desperate situations when other means of communication fail.
Find My Friends is free and available in both iOS and Android
MySOS Family App
Actively participating in a political fight against issues you’re passionate about can put you in dangerous situations at times. To ensure your safety, here’s the perfect ‘in case of emergency’ app—the MySOS Family app.
This emergency SOS app is set up to help send alerts to the user’s emergency contacts when the red button on the screen is clicked on. An emergency signal is then sent via text message and email with your exact location using your phone’s GPS. When you get yourself in a dangerous situation, the MySOS Family app has got your back.
One of the best ways to educate and update yourself on issues that you care about is through using collaborative platforms that connect you with other like-minded individuals.
Slack is a cloud-based set of collaboration software tools developed by a San Francisco-based startup called Slack Technologies. This project management app is a popular workplace collaborative platform, but it’s also ideal for anyone to privately engage and plan out their next campaign.
If you want to take part in current slack channels and be updated on current news affairs, check out Digital Journalism Rocks and the Modern Journalist.
With these super handy apps in your pocket, you as an advocate can confidently voice out your opinions and even put them into action in today’s digital era.
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