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These are four social media apps you need on your phone right now

Key Points
  • There's a new generation of aspiring apps vying for consumers' attention.
  • CNBC recently surveyed the mushrooming app universe, and found a few gems worthy of a place on your phone.

Smartphones are ubiquitous, and also are the mobile applications that help run them. While you're on the go, you can order a car, dinner, watch a movie, or play a game.

Millions of mobile users have turned the likes of Uber, Seamless, Netflix and Pokemon Go into household names that need no introduction. However, there's a new generation of aspiring apps vying for consumers' attention, and some of them stand a good shot of at least getting on the radar.

With that in mind, CNBC recently surveyed the mushrooming app universe, and found a few gems worthy of a place on your phone.

Lisa, the 'social media assistant' that will pick the perfect selfie

Lisa is a machine learning powered photo app

This artificially intelligent app picks which photo you should choose to share. For example, if you have three photos that look similar, Lisa appoints itself as the judge of which one deserves a spot on your Instagram or Facebook feed.

The app can schedule postings to Instagram, and generate hashtags that increase engagement by extracting thousands of features from a single image. CEO Tarik Demir told CNBC that most people the company has spoken are frequently undecided about which image to pick, especially on Instagram.

"We are making Lisa a smart social media assistant from end to end," said Demir. "In the long term, our goal is making Lisa the only decision mechanism for all visual content selection processes ... even creating them."

The comment section, in real time

Recactus is a live reaction social video app

Think of this as the video version of YouTube's comments section, but one that runs simultaneously with the video. ReCactus is a reaction app, a video time line of user reactions to recorded content. Whether you're a contributor or a viewer, the split screen shows the video and the reactions side by side, making it hard to look away. CEO Bernard Tan told CNBC that users can share reactions to anything from a presidential election, to an incident on an airline.

Your GIFs come to life

Pops is an app that lets users print animated photos

Pops lets users shoot moving photos in GIF style, which then prints out in physical sticker form. These stickers come to life on your social media feed or in your hands — much like the dinosaur holographic stickers schoolchildren once tucked into their bags en route to school. The app launched in May 2017, after only six months in beta testing.

"We are still on a very early adopter basis. Within two months, we reached 10,000 active users on the app and delivered over a thousand orders," said CEO Antoine Marie.

For now, users can either use pre-shot animated photos using apps like Boomerang, then upload them for print, or use Pops' technology to take a live photo. The company will be launching its first live photo printer in October.

360-degree photos

While there are swaths of cameras that take 360-degree photos now, it is difficult finding a platform to share the content. Facebook, one of the most consumer used social networks introduced support for 360-degree photos on its platform last year.

With Lookabout, users can share panoramic content without owning a 360-degree camera. The company, born out of the Science Inc. incubator which has produced companies like Dollar Shave Club and DogVacay, has plans for augmented reality and virtual reality as future extensions for the platform.

CEO Jack O'Grady told CNBC the app has already had more than 1,000 posts made from over 10 countries, but declined to share full metrics.