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Banjo For iOS Becomes More Photo-Friendly Thanks To Update

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Banjo, the slightly creepy social discovery app that shows you who’s doing what nearby, has been updated today with a handful of new tweaks for its iOS version. Sorry Android folks — you’ll have to sit this one out for the time being.

Here’s a quick recap if you’ve never messed with Banjo before. Banjo pulls in geo-tagged pictures and updates from all of the major social platforms (think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and the like), and splays them all onto a map (or into a list) so users can see what’s going on around them.

Since it culls this social information from so many sources, it’s become quite the way for users to pore through and share their friends’ photos from one place. To help make that experience a bit better, the team has redone the Community and Friend feeds to place a greater emphasis on those shared images — no longer are they trimmed and squeezed to fit into a small amount of space.

Instead, they’re given plenty of room to breathe within the feeds and they’ve also reconfigured the navigation bar that runs along the bottom to disappear as users scroll down their lists of aggregated posts.

In an attempt to make the processing of sharing those photos more streamlined, the sharing panel has been reworked as well. While before the usual list of sharing options would slide up from the bottom of the screen and obscure the image, users can now tap an icon directly below the photo to bring up a funky new sharing panel that lets users disseminate photos without being pulled out of their groove.

This new update isn’t all about photos though — users have been given the ability to like and comment on Facebook posts from directly within the app. Perhaps most thoughtfully though, Banjo now displays a small distance indicator as you scroll through your feeds, providing people with instant context about how far away their friends are and where these events are happening.

The team has been pretty darned busy these past few months — they launched a web version of their app back in December so people stuck at their desks can join the fun, and they made a bit of a splash (albeit a very controlled one) at this year’s SXSW. With any luck, these updates will help them stay ahead of the pack — AppData has the service sitting at around 500,000 monthly active users, well ahead of Highlight and many of the other location apps fighting for recognition in that space.