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Banjo, the Social Discovery App
By: Jessica Cherok
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Ever been out at a particular place and thought to yourself, “I wonder what the social network profiles are like of other people who have been here?” Admittedly, that’s an oddly specific thought. But if you’ve ever wondered what your connections are doing, social discovery apps are right up your alley.

Social discovery apps use social media information and GPS in order to see who is doing similar things nearby. Users are able to view the public posts of connections within their social network who may be up to something interesting.

However, because people use so many different applications to share their activities, it was hard to get an all-encompassing view of what was happening. In other words, you may miss the tweet from your friends about checking out a new restaurant because you were too busy looking for what was up on Facebook.

Essentially, social discovery apps seek to close that gap often left when users are tweeting or checking in across the various social networks. By compiling all the information in one place, you’re more likely to see that your pals are gathering nearby.

Social discovery is supposedly the next big social media thing, and as far as which apps can bring it to you in a nice package, Banjo does an excellent job.

Many social discovery apps have limited themselves to the specific location where the users are currently located, thereby only allowing you to see posted information from others who are very close by. Unlike some of those other apps, Banjo opted to include locations near and far when it debuted its trending places last summer. Instead of just being able to see what’s happening in the immediate vicinity, you can experience what is happening anywhere in the world by scoping out what people are publicly posting.

The large scale of happenings is especially cool for events that the majority of people are not able to experience.  Last summer, Banjo used the 2012 Summer Olympics to show off trending places. For those not lucky enough to score tickets, Banjo allowed real-time, on-the-ground sharing of updates and photos.

Another, more recently trending place was the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. Banjo users, whether in D.C. for the event or watching from far away, could view status updates, tweets, and pictures uploaded from those actually in attendance.

So whether you want to check out what's happening down the street or across the globe, Banjo is an excellent app to help with both.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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