Third party applications are designed for the convenience of the users and to provide them all the features of the social networking sites and much more. That they have innovative functionality is one reason why users opt for them.
Third party apps for Twitter are always discussed more as the social networking site has given ample opportunities to the developers to design apps integrating the regular or sometimes random features. Like there is Vizify which creates infographics based on the user’s activity on Twitter, TweetMyJobs is designed to supply job matches through Twitter or there is Buffer which takes load off your shoulder and shares articles, pictures throughout the day.
If this is appealing enough then there are more apps for group usage, to measure influence and to manage followers. Then there are Twitter apps for Blackberry, Android and iPhone competing with each other for user attention.
Facebook also has many third party apps for games, quizzes, contests as well as utilities. They are embedded into various features of Facebook that is you get the alerts in notifications and News feed. Facebook has different functionalities for the apps like canvas page which displays your apps, social channels which increases the network for your apps and analytical tools for metrics. Right from My Calendar which lets you track your friend’s birthday to Social Reader which informs you what your friend is reading, there is a lively ecosystem of apps in Facebook for the users.
Google+ has also started a pilot program through which the page owners can manage their accounts by third party apps like Hootsuite among others. They would let you manage your circles and would help you in measurement but still the third party apps cannot post on Google+ on your behalf.
The social networking sites have maintained a cordial relation with the third party apps. They don’t wholeheartedly embrace them and at the same time know very well that for user engagement the apps are very much necessary.