Loopt, a location-based checkins app along the lines of Foursquare, is announcing the launch of Loopt Qs today at Where 2.0 Conference.
Loopt Qs are “micro reviews” or polls that the Loopt community team will create around a place (like “What’s the best thing to order if you’re a vegetarian?” or “What’s the price range of this restaurant?”), Users can share their answers with Loopt users and with friends on Facebook and Twitter, in order to get more answers to a question or to share a specific answer.
By pressing the Qs button on the Loopt app’s homescreen, Loopt users can see a realtime stream of Qs around them or contribute answers to the Qs . They can also flip through the Qs results on each place page. Loopt founder Sam Altman tells me that the Qs are designed to give the user quick bursts of information (“in less than three seconds), in order to save them the time of scrolling through endless and sometimes irrelevant reviews on Yelp.
“We hope that this actually reflects the way users search on mobile and the kind of information users want,” Altman tells me. “We want to answer the queries that users are making on search.” He emphasizes that 20% of all Google searches are local, and is targeting Qs to that market.
While apps like Foursquare and Yelp offer users recommendations, the actual polling format is nascent. Startups like GoPollGo are making inroads on the web, but we’ve yet to see a successful mobile foray. It’ll be interesting to see how users take to this new micro-review format, especially when they’re out at a restaurant or bar. But I’m pretty sure Loopt will have to let people contribute their own Q in order to make this a more sticky features.
Loopt Qs will be rolling out in San Francisco in the coming weeks, and to the service’s 5 million registered users (1 million of which are active) in the coming months. The app is currently available on iPhone, iPod Touch and Android.