Banjo, the location-based social network for sharing images and content tied to specific real-world locales, today unveiled its new native iPad and Android apps. This marks the first time Banjo has made the leap to tablets, and I spoke with Banjo CEO Damien Patton about why the time was right to bring Banjo to the bigger screen: It’s mostly about riding the second screen wave, Patton says, and tapping into the idea of a lean-back consumption model of material gathered via the smartphone app.
The iPad version arrives as a universal update for Banjo’s existing iOS application, but it’s a far different experience from the one users will be used to from the existing iPhone version. It’s designed more around a consumption experience, since tablets tend not to be used on the go as much as smartphones, and Patton explains how exactly the team has done that – in a development cycle which spanned only a few weeks, by the way.
“Whereas a mobile device was cool because as you travel around and travels with you, iPad and tablets people are mostly for sitting down and using and exploring while they’re sitting down and watching television,” he said. “Now you can use it as a second screen; if you’re watching the Superbowl or the Academy Awards, but you want to see what’s really going on from the red carpet, Banjo takes you there and shows you what’s being shared from there, and more importantly how you’re connected to the people that are actually there.”
The idea is a natural extension of Banjo’s existing philosophy of helping viewers, both on the consumer side and at media organization, experience an on-the-ground perspective from the comfort of their own homes or offices. The iPad app makes it even more of a spectator sport, allowing users to check out locations and updates on a single screen thanks to the addition of extra display real estate. And it still offers the breadcrumb look at how you’re connected to the people whose content you’re checking out from around the world, making it markedly different from other second screen experiences thanks to a more personalized touch.
The second screen experience is the opportunity Patton is clearly most excited about, and for good reason, since it opens up a considerable potential avenue towards revenue generation.
“There are a lot big partnerships that we’ve engaged in lately that are soon going to be announced,” he said. These could take the form of branded standalone apps that bring focused Banjo communities together around a particular topic or event, giving a more narrow version of its globe-trotting perspective that nonetheless brings all of its social link identification powers to bear. The iPad version is a stepping off point for that larger market play, and proof yet again that Banjo can iterate quickly when it sees an opportunity worth exploiting.