Photo Courtesy Apple.com.
Earlier this week, Apple announced the new iPhone 3G. The key features of the new iPhone include 3G, GPS, Enterprise Support & Third Party Applications. While the lower pricing and savings can be arguable, the new features come welcome after months of rumors and speculation.
Of all the applications demonstrated, in particular Loopt stood out. For those not familiar with Loopt, Loopt is a mobile social network that was started in 2005, has since raised over $12 million in funding and has become available on many carriers including AT&T, Sprint, NexTel & Boost Mobile.
photo courtesy Gizmodo.com.
Mobile Social Networking
While many will probably agree that social networks like Myspace and Facebook continually grow because of their entertainment value, Loopt brings a new plate to the table in focusing social networking on a mobile platform. With more people adopting GPS and smart phone technology, it seems like a natural merge for Loopt to bring the two together. Smartphone sales have continued to rise and over 6 million iPhones were sold in the first year of its introduction alone.
See the Loopt presentation at WWDC 2008.
Loopt maps out the location of you and your contacts (who are also Loopt users), pin pointing your location in relation to how close they are to you. From that information, users can send messages, text, coordinate meeting points, and get one-click directions to each other. And best of all, the Loopt application will be available for free at launch on the iPhone App Store (coming in early July 2008).
If the mobile web continues to grow in popularity, Loopt has the potential to be just as useful to advertisers as it is to its users. They recently signed a deal with CBS Mobile to provide targeted advertising to users.
“Advertisers pay a premium for hyper-targeting, and in Loopt’s case, not only will they have demographic information based on user profiles, but also know a user’s precise location at a given time.”
For a business owner, (i.e. a nightclub, restaurant or bar) this potentially blows Adword’s Geo-Targetting out of the water with its customized ads depending on user proximity, demographics and time of day. The possibilities become endless.
But the big questions still come into play: Are people ready for Loopt? Will the new iPhone 3G bring a larger user base to such mobile social networks? And really, how safe are these networks?
Seems like we’ll have to wait until at July 11th to see.
More on Loopt: