Banjo, the popular mobile location-based app, recently pushed a major upgrade. The new version allows users to see their connections’ posts across most major social networks, all through one interface. It also lets users explore new locations, meet up with friends nearby, and meet new connections. “People want to know where their friends are, and who is around them,” said Jennifer Peck, Director of Engagement for Banjo.
Indeed, one thing helpful about the most recent upgrade is that is dynamically sorts out cities in a user’s home screen. On my screen I have New York City first, followed by London — since that’s what I have most of my connections. This gives me a real-time entry point into the places I care about most.
What’s impressive about Banjo’s offering is that it is consistently looking to add value, and go beyond simply locating others on a map. That’s not enough, and Banjo realizes that.
“Location-based services are going to be like SMS, and baked into everything – it will be commoditized in the near future,” Jennifer predicted over a quick meeting at Gregory’s Coffee right before Thanksgiving. “But when you can get a more realized experience, including weather and common connections across platforms, it adds significant value to the end user.”
From my experiences with the app, it certainly does add value, and becomes a time sink for social networking diehards like me. There’s an OMG moment when you realize the Digital Luxury Group’s Geneva-based head of marketing, Tamir Koifman, is at a party around the corner from the Starbucks you’re working at in midtown Manhattan. That was the case for me recently; Banjo’s notification that Tamar was nearby let us arrange a chance 20-minute meeting that wouldn’t have been possible without the service.
I highly recommend Banjo as a service for professionals who travel often. See all those blue icons on the accompanying screenshots? Those are Banjo users you’re not connected to on any of the social platforms you’ve connected Banjo to. When I travel to Providence and Boston next week, I plan on using Banjo to meet users in between meetings. Because of opportunities like this, the return on time spent mastering Banjo is well worth it.