Event-dependent social discovery has failed to strike a chord outside of big industry events or rare occasions in urban areas, so Now will need to bring something special to the game to succeed.
Dozens of apps buzz your phone when friends are nearby, and all of them are annoying. Highlight notifies you when someone nearby knows your sister, while Foursquare lets you know when a friend checks in at Walgreen’s down the street. An iPhone app called Now takes a different approach: what if you got notified only when friends were doing cool stuff nearby?
Now decides what’s hot based on where the most Instagram photos are being taken, and pushes you a notification when a friend nearby is taking pictures at a trending location. “If you want to know what’s happening in your city, go where people are taking the most photos,” Now founder Ben Broca says.