external image loopt_logo_ijustine.jpg



Loopt is a location-based social networking app for mobile devices

Loopt lets users find their friends and see places they like to go. At any given moment users can see where all their friends are on a map, see where they’ve been, and “ping” them to meet up. Users can also share where they’ve been with photos and share these updates through Facebook and Twitter integration. Loopt features a full geographic map a la Google Maps that users can quickly glance at to see all nearby friends, events, and suggested places.

external image product_star_logo.png
Loopt Star is separate app in the Loopt suite that uses all of Loopt’s base functionality with a reward system. Loopt Star rewards users for getting out and exploring the world with friends. Users can earn achievement badges and real rewards such as mobile coupons and discounts from retail stores. Users collect achievements and rewards by checking into places, similar to Foursquare. Loopt Star also features full Facebook integration in which users can see where their friends are and compare stats on leaderboards.

The Loopt Star app recently launched the "Rewards Nearby" feature so users can find deals up to 20 miles away when they launch the app. The new feature puts the four nearest special offers to you at the top of the check-in screen.




Reasons for using Loopt



"Location is such an important tool for local merchants and marketers to more deeply connect with customers," says Michael Boland, an analyst at BIA/Kelsey.

“Mobile coupons can get seven times as many responses as those in print or online because people do not need to write down a code or print the coupon,” said Maria Mandel, executive director of digital innovation at Ogilvy, the advertising agency.

Indeed, mobile social media seems to be the new front for connecting with young, affluent consumers. Loopt Star provides consumers with location-based local information with accuracy and relevancy that cannot be matched by any other technology available.

Limitations



Location-based services remain a mystery to nearly 90% of the general public. And those familiar with it rarely use it, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers by AskYourTargetMarket. Half the respondents said they had misgivings about privacy with such services.

According to Maria Mandel, executive director of digital innovation at Ogilvy, the advertising agency, ''The issue with mobile right now is you don't have a large enough audience size at the moment. That will change as the media channel grows.''

Indeed, the largest limitation of Loopt Star is the relatively small userbase. Numbers have been increasing substantially, so it is only a matter of time before it is assimilated into the mainstream.

Costs



Loopt Star is free to use for consumers and businesses. However, there is a potential hidden cost present. A business opening itself up to consumer reviews must be prepared to garner negative reviews for the public to see.

Reach/Frequency



Reach and Frequency certainly depend on how often users use the app and how deeply they choose to engage themselves into it. Location-based social media is booming, so Reach and Frequency are only going to increase as more consumers flock to it.
As of July, 2010 Loopt has an estimated 3 million users.

Scheduling



There are no scheduling methods that apply to Loopt Star, as it is a non-traditional digital medium.

General Impact


external image checkin.png

Since Loopt Star launched its “Rewards Nearby” feature, stores have seen foot traffic from the app spike, says Loopt founder Sam Altman.


















Audience Qualities


external image friends.pngLoopt Star users are among the tech-savvy Generation Y that are increasingly integrating social media into their daily lives. They necessarily live in urban areas that have cellular data service available.

Although the userbase of these services is relatively small right now, Sarah Hofstetter of AdAge notes, “…we have already seen this highly influential audience linking their mobile social applications to the rest of their social graphs, publishing their location to Twitter feeds and Facebook profiles… And these users are influencers who often have wider reach than the Average Joe, so if they post their [mobile social media] updates to their other networks, a marketer’s overall reach can be even more significant.”








Responsiveness


external image me.png
This form of advertising generates awareness, stimulates purchase, and nurtures customer relationships. Users have the ability to see nearby deals at places they may not have otherwise gone to. Purchase is stimulated through the same mechanic as traditional coupons. The two-way communicative nature of the service nurtures customer relationships that make consumers want to return.

Loopt provides a cutting-edge solution that savvy marketers can utilize to communicate with the maturing Generation Y.











Current Advertisers


CurrentAdv.png

See Also



Foursquare

Groupon

Yelp

Mobile Phone Applications

Neer

SCVNGR










References


Swartz, J. (2010). Facebook dives into location-based services. USA Today, Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Swartz, J. (2010). Location-based services lure users, advertisers, investors. USA Today, Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Patel, K., & Zmuda, N. (2010). EXPECTING SOMETHING IN RETURN FOR YOUR CHECK-IN EFFORTS? SAY NO MORE. Advertising Age, 81(30), 6. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

MILLER, C. (2009, November 3). It Knows Where You Are, and What You're Looking For. New York Times, p. 6. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Hofstetter, S. (2010). Four Reasons Brands Must Check in to Foursquare. Now. Advertising Age. Retrieved December 3, 2010, from http://adage.com