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With Amo’s third app, the makers of Zenly release a Zenly-like app

Amo, the buzzy Paris-based startup that keeps releasing consumer social apps, is dropping its third app today. And it’s going to look really familiar to former users of Zenly as Amo’s third app is a location-sharing app — just like Zenly.

In case you missed the previous episodes, Amo is a relatively new startup created by 10 co-founders (yes, ten) that all worked on Zenly, the location-sharing app that was acquired by Snap, grew to become one of the biggest social apps built in Europe, and then got shut down by Snap.

Over the past year or so, they’ve been working on a galaxy of social apps that are tightly interconnected — one account, one list of friends, one notification screen and a common design system.

Amo first released ID, a brand new take on your social media profile that lets you express yourself with stickers, photos and drawings. ID lets you create a raw, three-dimensional profile. And it’s a fun collaborative space too as you can drop some content on your friends’ profiles.

With its second app Capture, Amo is creating a social camera app. It’s both an innovative way to take photos and a shared camera roll with your friends and loved ones. It’s not BeReal, it’s not Locket, and it’s definitely not Instagram.

Amo’s new app, Location, is probably the easiest one to describe and understand. It’s a location-sharing app so that you can see what your friends are up to, get to know them a bit better and spend more time with them — in real life. In other words, it’s just like Zenly.

“And the third app will surprise you the least. It’s a kind of ‘Zenly Lite,’” Amo co-founder and CEO Antoine Martin told me a few weeks ago.

Location is both a utility app and a social app. When you open the app, you see a map with your friends. You can tap on someone’s profile to see how far from you they are, send some hearts, ping them by knocking on their screen and tell them you’re on your way.

“We’re trying to build something a little more adult-like, not fall into Zenly’s childishness. But we still want to allow you to do this when a buddy is late,” Martin said while showing me the knock-knock button to ping someone. “Or to do this, this, this, if they’re really, really late,” he tapped on the button a few times, which covered the screen in 3D hands knocking on the map.

It’s that kind of delightful features that made Zenly stand out from pure utility apps like Apple’s Find My. You can zoom in and out on the map using one hand by sliding your thumb up and down the side of the screen. You can move from one friend to another by swiping on the profile card — it’s like a carousel of friends.

“You’ve got all kinds of little details that we’re working on to recreate Zenly, but better than it was before,” Martin said.

Still, Location wants to be as useful as it is fun. From the profile card, you can also initiate a call or send a message (via iMessage) or open a navigation/ride-hailing app like Apple Maps, Google Maps and Uber. You can see your friend’s battery status too — and the app isn’t supposed to kill your battery.

At this point, if you’ve already added a bunch of people on ID and Capture, you might think that you don’t want to share your location with everyone. Amo has set up a simple privacy screen in all its apps. You can add a friend in any of the company’s apps and enable or disable a specific app. For instance, you can choose to share photos with your work friends in Capture but disable location sharing in Location.

Do people still want something like Zenly or have they moved on? When you type Zenly in the App Store, you get a handful of Zenly clones. They don’t just try to recreate Zenly’s features. They literally look and feel just like the old Zenly. It proves that there’s still some interest in the location-sharing space.

Now, let’s see if Amo can bring back old Zenly users, and convince new ones that they should sign up — at least, some of those potential users are already using ID and Capture. It’s going to be interesting to see the network effects between these three apps.

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