The social networking craze is off the charts these days and the App Store is certainly a reflection of this with thousands of apps in the Social Networking category alone. Many of them focus on one social networking service while others work to provide more comprehensive access to several at the same time, like Taptivate’s Friends. Debuting last week in the App Store, Ban.jo is in the latter category but with a slight twist that makes it a more compelling app than others.
Ban.jo offers immediate access to the Twitter, Facebook, Gowalla, and Foursquare posts made around you based on your current location. These posts are publicly available and visible even if you don’t have an account with any of these services or haven’t logged in. Also (and this is my favorite part) you don’t need to create yet another account to use Ban.jo.
Banjo has created a video demonstrating how the app works:
The Who’s Near tab shows you everyone who has posted around you recently while the List tab provides a list of of the recent posts made by those people. The Map view displays everyone in the Who’s Near tab on a map. You can designate favorite places on the map to quickly access the posts made around that area, and post to Twitter or check in to Facebook, Gowalla, or Foursquare right within the app.
Of course, Ban.jo works best when you’re a well-populated area and it can definitely give you a feel for the vibe of a place or event at a quick glance. Alternately, it can feel a bit stalker-ish in showing the locations and current activities posted by random strangers though you can limit what’s visible to your friends only.
Ban.jo is free and works on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and requires iOS 3.1.2 or higher.