Now app for iPhone uses Instagram to find the cool stuff around you

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?

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. For example, yesterday I received a notification when my friend Tyler Gold shot a photo of an upside down car being filmed for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Now combines Tyler’s photo with photos tagged at the same location so I could see what was going on from every angle. “That information is already on Instagram, but you don’t have any context about what’s actually happening,” Broca says.

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