Location-based mobile app developer Loopt launched a new, consumer-focused version of its product today, called Loopt Star.
Loopt Star lets users receive discounts, coupons, and other rewards for checking-in to select locations. The new app also incorporates some of the game play mechanics — users get points for certain check-ins, and see how they stack up with their friends on a leaderboard — that have made rival Foursquare so popular.
These sorts of partnerships with local businesses are becoming standard in location-aware apps (and are already in the regular Loopt app), but Loopt Star makes them central, and adds some twists that aren’t found elsewhere yet:
- Brands have finely-grained control over what users have to do to qualify for particular rewards. Burger King, looking to “drive foot traffic”, will offer coupons to users who check-in a set number of times. Record label Universal Music, which is more interested in engagement with its brand, rewards users for checking-in to bars with which it has no direct connection.
- Loopt Star is deeply integrated with Facebook, allowing partners to structure group deals: if you check-in to a location with some set number of Facebook friends, all of you receive some reward.
Cofounder and CEO Sam Altman says the upshot of this is that the app becomes a “virtual loyalty card” for brands; rather than paying for ad impressions or clicks, local advertising through Loopt Star can work on a “cost per visit” model.
Loopt is closing in on 4 million users across all apps and platforms. Loopt Star is only available on the iPhone at launch, but Android and BlackBerry apps are on the way.
Here’s Sam showing off the new app to Robert Scoble: