Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Banjo Location App Takes You to the Olympics From Anywhere in the World

Banjo is a mobile social discovery app that aggregates photos, statuses and tweets tagged with locations.

That’s great and all, but how many people really have that many friends who even post location-tagged updates? And how often do you want to receive random pings from strangers who saw that you just posted a photo at a nearby place?

But here’s one way Banjo could shine: It’s launching a new “trending places” feature, where users can quickly navigate to any place in the world where a flurry of updates are being posted. You can imagine this being useful for planned and unplanned major events, from festivals to natural disasters.

The first showcase for trending places starts this week at the London Olympics, and there’s a new version of Banjo released today that includes the feature.

So, from anywhere in the world, you can open up Banjo on iPhone or Android and check out photos and posts associated with each Olympic venue and sport.

On Friday, when you turn on the television to watch the opening ceremonies, you could also load up the Banjo app to see all the athlete and fan photos from within the Olympic Stadium.

The charm is that you don’t have to know who to follow in advance, and that anything geo-tagged to that place and time is highly likely to be relevant.

You could kind of think of Banjo as a “place browser,” where you can zoom all over the world and see what people are posting in that moment. That includes posts from Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram and LinkedIn (though I can’t imagine many athletes will be live-updating their resumes).

With this update, Banjo is “really becoming less about the here and more about the there,” said Damien Patton, CEO of Redwood City, Calif.-based Banjo.

Banjo is a year-old product with two million registered users. For now, trending topics and places are global, but soon they’ll be personalized, Patton said.

Banjo users who leave the app running currently get notified about five times per month when it determines that there’s relevant content or people nearby, according to Patton. Also this week, Banjo is bringing on one of its first brand partners, Westfield Shopping Malls, which will alert users who are actually at the Olympics about Wi-Fi and charging stations via push notifications.


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