Following the footsteps of foursquare and sonar, more and more social discovery apps have sprung up determined to link you to people and places you may enjoy by geo location. These apps help connect you with people that are in your networks, go to the same places you do, or are just simply near by. I wonder if people ever say, “we met on a mobile app”. Here are a few apps that do just that:
Prowl recently had their launch party in lower Manhattan and drew good attention to their new iPhone app. Driven by either “Quick Search” or “Personalized Search”, you can see people who are checked-in at a given venue. Sounds familiar, I know. However, the Personalized Search has a list of criteria that includes something like “It’s Wednesday Evening“, “I’m with a new date“, and “I’m looking for Dancing“, etc. kind of reminds me of Urban Daddy’s the Next Move App. That said, Prowl takes it to the next level by letting you select the type of crowd you’re looking for. The next screen asks you the gender/age/ethnicity/occupation/style of crowd you want. The Prowl App also allows you to create a “Hang Out” idea and invite friends to join you.
Unlike foursquare and many other social discovery apps, Roamz does not require you to check-in to display what’s happening around you. Once you sign in, Roamz displays a newsfeed of content aggregated from facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc. to bring you things you’re interested in based on your location and preferences. You can set your preferences (interests) by selecting different categories: Pets, Events & Entertainment, Travel & Lodging, Restaurants & Food, etc. for Roamz to know better what to show you in your newsfeed. There is also a “Popular” tab that shows the top stories that received the most likes and views by users.
The Banjo app displays people around you in 3 ways: by map, by news feed, and by a collage of their faces. You sign in with either Twitter, facebook, foursquare, Instagram, Linkedin or Google+. In the map view, Banjo will display people’s profile pictures near you on a map. When you tap on someone’s picture, it displays their newsfeed from the social network they used to sign in with. You can also search people by “Interest”. For example, if you type in “Olympics”, it displays a feed of people who had “Olympics” in their recent status updates/tweets.
Not only for social reasons, the Peeriscope app focuses on developing professional networking opportunities. One you sign in with Linkedin, Peeriscope imports your Linkedin Profile and recommends nearby events from Meetup that match your industry, function and skills. You can tap on a meetup from the map view and see the registered attendees and their profiles. Ambar Shrivastava, Founder of Peeriscope tells me they’re adding other sources of events in the near future besides Meetups.
The Buddha iPhone app map view looks very similar to that of Banjo’s. You sign in to see who’s around you on a map. When you tap on someone’s picture, you can see their profile information including Name, Friends, Education, Employment, and Mutual Friends. There is also a “View Matches” functionality where it displays people that share mutual friends with you and are close by.
Here is a video for Roamz: