Flickr co-founder seeks another hit with new Findery app

SAN FRANCISCO - Findery, a map-based social networking service started by the co-founder of popular photo-sharing site Flickr, launched a mobile app on Thursday.

The free app, which is available for Apple Inc iPhones, lets users leave notes, photos and videos about real-world locations on digital maps.

Findery is competing in a crowded field, where many users have adopted social networking and mobile messaging services such as Facebook Inc, Snapchat and Instagram to share their personal musings and to get restaurant and movie recommendations from friends.

Caterina Fake, Findery's founder and Chief Executive, is hoping there's room for a specialised service that appeals to a different set of Internet users' sensibilities.

A lot of apps "are still trying to hook you up with your friends who are going to recommend a coffee shop to you," said Fake. The idea of Findery, which has raised roughly $10 million in funding, is to give people a "more meaningful" experience by supplementing online maps with everything from personal anecdotes about a neighborhood to historical facts about a particular building.

Fake has a record of creating successful online services that harness user-generated content. Fake co-founded Flickr, one of the seminal photo-sharing websites acquired by Yahoo Inc in 2005. She is also the chairman of Etsy, an online market that specializes in crafts that some observers believe could soon be headed towards an initial public stock offering.

While many online companies now espouse a "mobile first"strategy, Findery launched its service as a website two years ago. The company released the Web version first in order to build up the service's collection of notes, Fake explained. She said it was easier for users to write lengthy stories on a computer than on a mobile phone app.