When Loopt released its iPhone app alongside the App Store launch in 2008, it seemed to have everything going for it. Founder Sam Altman was given time on stage at WWDC to show off the app. It was featured prominently in the App Store for a while. And it was really one of the first hot location-based services. But then it cooled off, partially because the app needed to be open to update your location.
Back in January, we noted that Loopt was sending around a deck to advertisers showing off a new product . The product was focused on check-in specials (the kind popularized by Foursquare ) and was entirely built on top of Facebook’s social graph. Finally, nearly 6 months later, that app is here. Loopt Star is in some ways a simplified version of Loopt’s regular location-based service. Rather than being a service that is continually updating your location in the background, the focus here is only on the idea of the check-in. And naturally, those check-ins take place at specific venues — some of which Loopt has deals in place with to coincide with the launch of the new app.
Instead of collecting paper cards and fumbling through wallets at the cash register, customers are increasingly using their cellphones to track their visits and purchases, and receive rewards. Some start-ups, like CardStar and CardBank , store existing loyalty cards on cellphones with scannable barcodes. And companies including Motorola and a start-up called mFoundry are providing retailers with the technology to build cellphone loyalty cards. Loopt is one of several start-ups — including Foursquare , Shopkick and Gowalla — that are experimenting with ways to use cellphones to bridge the digital and physical worlds and turn the tasks of everyday life, like buying coffee and running errands, into a game. On Tuesday, Loopt, one of the first services to let people use cellphones to share their location with friends, is taking its concept a step further by introducing Loopt Star , a mobile game that rewards people for frequently checking in to particular places.
Before there was Gowalla or Foursquare, there was location-based social network Loopt. Launched in 2006, Loopt was one of the pioneers of the location-based mobile social network. And Loopt has gained a huge number of users of its mobile apps; the social network currently has 3 million mobile users, 1 million of which are on the iPhone. Compared to Foursquare and Gowalla, which have 150,000 and 50,000 users respectively, Loopt has a pretty significant user base. More recently, Loopt upgraded its mobile offerings to offer a check-in where you can also review a place and help recommend things for your friends to do, called Pulse.
Location-based service Loopt is going to offer deals at venues and stores near you thanks to a partnership with Mobile Spinach . Mobile Spinach has already built up a large database of exclusive deals at venues ranging from sushi restaurants to concert halls to clothing stores. Currently, it serves San Francisco by texting users with deal notifications, but the partnership with Loopt will make the process that much more effective. Loopt and Mobile Spinach plan to offer deals in New York and Los Angeles “during the coming months,” too.
As Foursquare makes deals with major media companies, competitor Loopt is continuing to partner with with content companies to offer fresh news and reviews of restaurants, bars, businesses and events. Loopt’s mobile apps incorporates local content, deals and reviews about restaurants, bars and events from Zagat, Citysearch, Bing, and most recently Mobile Spinach. Today, Loopt is announcing a partnership with Tasting Table , daily epicurean email about restaurants, bars, wine stores and cookshops in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C.
Loopt has now launched Location History settings — a way for you to download and save your personal Loopt location history into a KML file*. Your personal location history includes both your “check in”/share locations with Loopt, and all the tracking points in between that Loopt has saved in the background. Loopt Location History works on all models of phone supported by Loopt. Why do this?
Geolocation service Loopt has just launched a feature that lets you access the last 30 days of your location history as a downloadable KML file. KML, which was developed for Google Earth, is a file that includes data associated with your location that can then be used when creating more interactive maps or trip logs. The feature is especially useful if you have background location, a new feature of Loopt 3.0 for iOS 4 [iTunes link].
De geo-location service Loopt heeft een nieuwe feature gelanceerd die je de mogelijkheid geeft om de laatste 30 dagen van jouw locatie historie te downloaden als KML file. Dat hebben ze op hun blog bekend gemaakt. KML , in eerste instantie ontwikkeld voor Google Earth, is een bestand dat data bevat die geassocieerd is met jouw locatie en die gebruikt kan worden bij het maken van wat meer interactieve kaarten of reislogbestanden. Deze functie is erg handig als je gebruik maakt van background location, a nieuwe functie van Loopt 3.0 voor iOS 4 [ iTunes link ]. Background location sharing, dat wordt ingeschakeld met de nieuwe multi-tasking functies in iOS 4, stelt gebruikers in staat om automatisch hun locatie veranderingen bij te houden zonder dat ze voortdurend in hoeven te checken of status updates te versturen.