The burgeoning iPhone and smartphone application industry generates roughly 600 new offerings a day, some estimate. That’s more than 217,000 a year.
The frenzied competition, though, doesn’t daunt Joe Grano and his team at Sarasota-based Next-Mark, a marketing and business strategy firm that recently entered the app market. “You have to have something that people will integrate into their daily life,” says Grano.
For Grano, integration lies in Yoddle. Pronounced like “yodel,” it’s a new social networking app that uses GPS-based location mapping to create real-time scenes for users, both strangers and friends, to connect.
The “scenes” could be college fraternity parties, high school football games or lunch at a busy restaurant. Once a user is on the Yoddle network, he can communicate in real-time with other users, via texts and pictures. For example, people at a concert can check in with each other on Yoddle and chat online about the music, or where they will meet up after the show. Scenes can be public or private.
But Grano and Next-Mark Marketing Associate Ross McLeod insist Yoddle isn’t Foursquare, the popular app that lets users check in at their location. Foursquare, says Grano, doesn’t have the layers of communication options Yoddle has.
The Yoddle app, which launched in October, is free. The business model is to eventually sell ads to businesses that want to get in the scene, say bars or nightclubs. “We’re not in a rush,” to make money, says Grano. “We have to get our users down first. This isn’t a quick buck.”