2014 has taken social networking to a completely new level. With countless apps at our disposal, we have the ability to connect to millions of new people every day. It was tough to narrow down our favorites, but the five social apps that grabbed our attention most this year included:

  • Tinder
  • Secret
  • Timehop
  • Snapchat
  • Swarm

After speaking with a variety of experts, the majority agreed that Tinder deserves the most recognition. Besides being one of the fastest growing dating apps in history, it’s taken away the stigma of online dating and made it more mainstream.

One of the main reasons Tinder has grown in popularity is due to its accessibility. Whether you have just started online dating or have been doing it for years, many people find this app to be user-friendly and easy to navigate.

“My vote goes to Tinder,” says Laurie Davis, founder of eFlirt and author of Love at First Click. “Tinder has dramatically decreased the stigma of online dating because it feels fun and social.  Tinder is like dipping a toe into the waters of online dating — it eases people into using technology to find love, and after a month or so, people are more inclined to join a dating site, too.”

Years ago, there were many negative associations with online dating sites. Now, Tinder has created a major shift in the way people view it.

“Tinder has changed the perception of online dating,” says Salina Siu, Creative marketer, co-founder of OMG Social Media Conference as well as tech startup Tubegether.“It used to be something only lonely, desperate people do. But once Tinder reached the tipping point, it became normal – everyone is on it and it is now a casual, fun thing to do. This shift in mindsets will stay, long after people jump on the next new, cool app, giving Tinder the biggest impact.”

There’s also no denying all the press it’s received in recent months—both good and bad.

“The social app of the year should hands down go to Tinder,” says Stacey Miller, “No other app received as much buzz!”

Coming in a close second is Timehop, which is popular mainly because it allows you to celebrate memories from the past. It is a valuable resource both for reminiscing and for resharing content.

“I would choose Timehop (especially since the reminder just popped up on my phone lol!),” says Casie Shimansky, social media manager for Ahlei. “I’ve had Timehop since very nearly the beginning of time, which I’m sure their adorable buddy Abe the Dinosaur would be more than happy to vouch for! It’s a great resource for re-sharing content from years past, has sometimes served as a reminder for content I could potentially re-purpose for today’s audience, and is just a fantastic way to look back and see how far I’ve come in the past five years so! Timehop is a great, easy way to reminisce just a bit throughout the week, especially when you’re in need of a ‘Throwback Thursday’ post.”

Aliza Sherman, CEO at Spark the Creative Agency, said of Timehop: “This app brings nostalgia and a touch of any person or brand’s personal history in social media to the forefront, providing relevant content for anyone to share to their followings. I love the blasts from my past that come across my Timehop notifications and the seamless ability to cull from my social media archives and post the content anew.”

Which app gets your vote? To make your voice heard, visit firestarter.firebrandgroup.com from now until February 24th. You may vote once every 24 hours per award.