Loopt: A Social Location Tool

Let’s say you step out of class or a business meeting or a long day at work, and you wonder; where are my friends right now and what are they up to? What fun activity am I missing?

Loopt, a mobile application, helps you see a clear picture of your social circle, without making a round of calls or texts. This virtual social application is meant to be a facilitator of the real social world.

Founded in 2005 and launched in 2008 as an iPhone app, Loopt is growing and incorporating other social media platforms. In January 2011 the site came up with a 4.0 update that changed the look, added new features and is applicable on all smart phones. At the moment, Loopt has more than 4 million users and have partnerships with Google Maps, Facebook Places and Twitter, among others.

Their application lets you see at a glance and in real time where your friends are hanging out. It will show you who is at a nearby place and wants company. It will show you where is this new place everyone is talking about and who’s there. You can text your friends and get a map how to get there.

Another service they provide are recommendations to places you have never been before. If you are on a business trip, in a new city, wouldn’t you want to get first hand recommendations about places to eat or hang out? Again, you might meet a tall dark stranger who is on your network of virtual friends.

In the latest update, out in April 2011, you can get at-a-glance recommendations about a place. Let’s face it, say the makers of Loopt. Most of the remarks are either very good – people loved it enough to write about it, or very bad – they were really unhappy with something. Who has the time to go through all those posts? Their Loopt Q, lets you see it in a graph form. Good reviews vs. bad ones. You don’t have to stand outside a restaurant for half an hour and read all the posts. This service is now available only in San Francisco, with a plan to roll it soon to other cities as well.



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