The internet opens you up to a host of fantastic tools and services that allows you to communicate with friends, family and even strangers from around the world. As part of our Windows Week celebrating the update of Microsoft’s nascent operating system here are the five best apps for you to get social with Windows.

Facebook

Facebook for Windows

The Facebook app for Windows 8 makes sure that you’re always up to date with all of your photos, events and, of course, messages from friends and family around the world. The layout will be instantly familiar to anyone who has used the Facebook website or any of their smartphone apps. Best of all is the ability to customise which notifications you will receive from the settings menu to prevent Farmville requests from spamming you while you work.

Rating: 5/5

 “Fantastic full-screen Facebook fun.

Twitter

Twitter for Windows

Twitter has quickly become the best way to get everything from breaking news to the latest updates from your friends and celebrities alike. Twitter’s killer feature is the ability to customise what you see by only following the users that interest you most. Twitter for Windows 8 lets you access your timeline at any time and keep it readily available using Windows 8’s ‘Snap’ feature.

Rating: 4/5

 “Twitter like a pro.

Foursquare

 

Foursquare for Windows

When was the last time you acted like a tourist in your own city? Foursquare is still one of the best ways to discover those incredible secret spots that make every city great. From small little bistros and one-man coffee shops to the best place to have a picnic on a Sunday Foursquare will help you find just what you’re looking for.

Rating: 3/5

 “Discover the best of the world around you.

InstaPic

InstaPic for Windows

Instagram is first and foremost a mobile app, however while taking photos and sharing them instantly from wherever you are is a job for a smartphone, sometimes you just need a bigger canvas to truly appreciate some of the fantastic snaps out there. InstaPic gives you the full functionality of the smartphone apps, including the ability to upload pics from your PC, with the added benefit of being able to switch between multiple accounts.

Rating: 4/5

 “Instant picture gratification.

IM+

IM+ for Windows 8

There are so many different messaging services out there that sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming managing them all. IM+ is the answer to keeping up with all of your contacts on Windows Messenger, Facebook, Skype and Google Talk and more at the same time and in one place. IM+ also lets you keep all of your contacts organised into convenient groups and silence all notifications when you can’t afford to be interrupted.

Rating: 3.5/5

 “Stay in contact with everyone, everywhere, at the same time.
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