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The mobile app Highlight was one of the big hits of the SXSW conference, allowing conference attendees to use the power of social media channels to find friends or other social connections who were nearby.

Now, a Seattle startup by the name of 47 Degrees (appropriately located at the end of a dock in Ballard) is entering the space with a mobile app by the name of Recently launched on iOS and Android, the free app allows users to see the Tweets in the context of a specific location.

Nick Elsberry

That’s a bit different from Highlight, with co-founder Nick Elsberry telling us that Highlight is about finding people around you who you might have something in common with.

“ is more about discovering what others are talking about around you,” he explains.

I’ve been kicking the tires on the app for a few days, using it around the greater Ballard area. There’s certainly a bit of a voyeuristic element to the, allowing one to get an inside look at the activities going on around you.  (I am especially interested in the postings from @GreenLakeCrime showing DUIs, suspicious persons, residential burglaries and other activities).

At this point, the app ingests Tweets from the general community, but Elsberry tells me that they are working on another filter for only showing Tweets of people in your personal network. That could push it closer to services such as Highlight.

They also plan to add content from services such as Flickr and Facebook.

“We see a lot of people using to find out what others are saying around specific events — sporting events, conferences, etc.,” said Elsberry. “Other people just really enjoy seeing who is saying what around you.”

I see this having some nice utility for travelers, and I am looking forward to giving it a try on my next vacation to get a better sense of the chatter nearby.

At this point, Elsberry said that they don’t have big plans to monetize the service, with the entrepreneur saying that it was primarily developed to showcase the company’s mobile app development work.

However, Elsberry said that they have been approach by several organizations that have wanted to create co-branded versions of the service for specific events.

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