Zannel, the instant media network - otherwise known as Twitter with multimedia - has released an application for the iPhone called CityWatch. Now you can let people know what's happening in cities all around them, sharing your instant updates on your iPhone.

Social Networking with Zannel

Zannel calls itself an instant media network. It's a social network, similar to Twitter, that enables its users to use various rich media assets in their status updates.

The social network, focused on visual bloggers and entertainers, can be used on over 1000 phones using the mobile web and WAP, or via the internet.  You can update images, video and text with a single click. 

You can also follow your favorite people by email update or SMS alerts.

Zannel was used during the National Democratic Convention by a group of bloggers. A group channel called PoliticsBlue was set up and 12 bloggers posted constant updates during the convention.

Mobile Awards

Zannel must be a good social network. It has received several awards including a Webby and a Mobile Excellence Award for Best Mobile Social Network.

The social network also has over 50 brand partners, one of whom is Verizon - which makes Zannel available on over 60 million handsets.

In an interview with Adam Zbar, CEO and Braxton Woodham, CTO, we got a sneak peek at the new CityWatch app for the iPhone. 

CityWatch - Location Based Updates

Launched in conjunction with Apple, and available at the Apple App store now, CityWatch is a location-based status update application.

An Open Platform

The CityWatch application allows you to search through a map and see all the updates for a particular location. You can also view the updates via a text feed if you don't want to scroll through the map. The app was developed on an open platform and supports integration with other sources of geo-tagged media.

Currently, Flickr content is integrated into CityWatch giving you not only Zannel status updates, but Flickr photos and other content as well.


User Generated Content

CityWatch supports User Generated Content. You can add pictures and text, tagging the content to a particular location with the click of a button.  You can also add updates using hash tags. Updates with location based hash tags are feed into the Zannel mapping application. 

Once you find an update, you can comment on it or respond to it. Discussion are threaded, something Twitter does not currently provide.

Selecting Locations to View

There are several ways to view updates. The first is by moving through a map and selecting a location. You can also select from a list of hot spots in a menu and select to view updates for your current location. The application uses the iPhone GPS to grab your current location and show you what's happening.




Another Way to Stay in the Loop

“CityWatch allows users to instantly see the cool things that are happening in their city and to stay abreast of what their friends and family are doing in real time,” said John Yin, Vice President of product development at Zannel. “We’ve integrated the best visual elements of maps, and multimedia with the immediacy of mobile messaging to give users a unique view of what’s happening wherever they are.”

As this is a new application, you won't see much of the current content on Zannel available in CityWatch. But as people start using it and tagging their content accordingly, more content will be available for popular locations. The integration with Flickr - which is current geo-tagged - will help fill the gap in the meantime.

Zannel can also update your other social networking applications like Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. It's an interesting application. One that you can see used by news people across the country to keep people updated on events and happenings in their area.  

With the popularly of micro-blogging today and of course the number of people flocking to get the iPhone, this application may soon become one of the most accessed in the Apple App Store.

Head on over to Zannel and set up your social network now.