App - Banjo
Category: Social
Cost: FREE
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By Banjo Inc.


See who’s around you with this social ambient app that’s caught the attention of more than a million app junkies around the world.

The Recapp Rating
3/5 Stars
  • Amazon App Store:
    /5 Stars
  • iTunes App Store:
    /5 Stars
  • Google Play:
    4.4/5 Stars
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Consider youself a real friend’s friend? This social ambient app will let you see when any of your friends (from any of your main social networks) are around you. (Warning: Must have friends in order to avoid creepiness.)

Banjo uses all kinds of social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and foursquare, so there’s little chance you’ll overlook some of your friends. Creator Damien Patton designed it that way, according to the Banjo app website, because the idea came about when he couldn’t locate a nearby friend at an airport.

Banjo shows Twitter and Facebook photos of users around you. It can be a little overwhelming at first, however, Banjo does give you options of limiting your social circle by letting you select Everyone, Friends Only or Only Me.

Like the SXSW 2012 darling Highlight, it would have been better if one could customize lists, but this is not an option. Also, the map function was not very precise because Banjo doesn’t give direct locations or addresses (probably a good thing, for safety’s sake). The only time it does give detailed locations is when users type in destinations to see who’s around, such as at a concert venue.

Unlike Highlight, Banjo isn’t quite so battery-intensive, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on bandwidth. Banjo incorporates Instagram because it wants users to share photos. Most feeds we saw did have numerous posts to Instagram, and users in San Francisco seemed inordinately fond of taking photos (of concerts, the Bay Bridge, themselves and poker games), all of which users can share with their own followers or friends.

The bad news is that Banjo has a habit of crashing. It crashed twice during our little play period, causing our smartphone to turn itself off and on again. For social media gurus, though, add Banjo to your new list of social ambient apps.

Reviewed: Sep 18, 2012 |

This app is included in a scenario called 4 Ambient Social Location Apps for Finding People Around You


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