Location-based social networks such as Foursquare and Highlight are useful for gleaning information about people and places close by. But what if you wanted to tune into the online chatter of those attending a political rally in another state, or see photos being shared at a rock concert halfway around the world?
That’s the idea behind Banjo, a startup founded in late 2010 to help smartphone users view all the posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites that are tagged to one geographic location. With its flagship app now counting more than 2 million users, the company is launching a new program.
Pin a Post, a free application that goes live in Apple and Google app stores today, lets users save social media posts emanating from a specific spot that they want to refer back to later.
“It’s Pinterest for location,” said Damien Patton, founder and chief executive of Redwood City, California-based Banjo. Like the popular site for saving collections of photos from around the Web, Pin a Post serves as a bookmarking service for consumers of social media.
The app, which was built in just three days by Banjo’s team of 18, is an experiment aimed at exploring new uses for the company’s underlying engine for mapping tweets and location check-ins in real time.
“Everybody in the company showed up on a Wednesday morning,” Patton said. “I said, ‘By Friday we are going to ship a finished and complete application on Apple and Android that allows you to go anywhere in the world and save content and be able to go back and recall that later.’”
More mashups of Banjo’s service are expected. Patton said the company plans to open its social-location engine to other developers through a public API, or application programming interface, by the end of this year. The startup is also gearing up for a move into a larger office, where it will share 25 percent of the space with outside developers building new apps based on Banjo’s service.
“If we can build Pin a Post from scratch in three days, imagine what scrappy young kids from all over the world can come in and build on this platform,” Patton said.