Let the Gaming Begin on Loopt Star


locationADOTAS – Last month, I was a little surprised the Mobile Battle between such location-based mobile social networks as Buzzd, Foursquare, BrightKite and media-hog Foursqaure at Ogilvey’s New York office was more like a love-in than a bloodbath — it’s arguable which bodily fluids are easier to wash out of your clothes.

However, I’m wondering if the relationship between the networks will be a little less cozy now that Loopt, inventor of the is further nudging onto Foursquare’s turf with its new Loopt Star mobile app.

Loopt has awoken the inner gaming aspect in its social mapping network — which also includes mobile apps Loopt, Loopt Mix and Loopt Pulse for iPad — by offering real-world rewards to users. Participating retailers are charged on a cost-for-visit basis, giving retailers the ability to control qualifying locations and times, as well as amount of check-ins and number of friends checked in with.

For example, two check-ins at the Gap earns you a 25% discount (cheap khakis for everyone!) while three check-ins at a Burger King NYC area will get you a free coffee, soda or a bear hug from the King — as long as you order a sandwich. The person who checks in the most at a specific Starbucks becomes mayor honorary barista, which either means you get to make your own espresso drinks (can you say quattro grande caramel white chocolate mocha with extra whip cream and sprinkles?) or you have to show up at 5:30 AM to work the morning shift in SoHo. I have to say the latter is not intriguing me…

Still, it’s more fun adventures in “Consumerism: The Game!” I’ll be right back to report more after I get me a double Whopper with cheese (no pickles) and a good ol’ squeezin’ from the King. Hopefully the staff won’t call the cops this time.


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