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What is Loop?
Loop is a social network platform intended to connect between people, their interests, and the businesses behind their interests! Described as a behavior-based social media platform, Loop allows users to connect with their favorite brands or activities while meeting like-minded people who share their passions. An intricately designed badge system segments users into numerous categories based on their personal hobbies or background, and allows them to further develop their passions by engaging in activities related to their interests. As the user continues to participate in their favorite pastime, they are able to ascend to higher rankings within their chosen category, and acquire higher-level badges that prove their dedication to the field. Furthermore, with every level ascension, the user enjoys added perks related to their interests- such as discounts, exclusive access to site features, and more. Living up to the infinity symbol in its name, Loop allows its users to truly immerse themselves in the infinite worlds of their favorite things!
Loop is a behavior-based social media platform that utilizes a universal visual language to connect between people with similar interests.
—Company Mission Statement
The Badge System
How does the badge system work?
Badges are essentially visualizations of human behavior. The badge system’s purpose is three-fold. It serves to help you discover your interests by interacting with interesting people and discovering content that is relevant to you. It also allows you to both connect with like-minded people and build a community based on your similarities. Finally, the badges allow you to express yourself while keeping track of your achievements as you pursue your passions. So how exactly does this work? Let’s say you are a big donut lover…
Discover your interests: Badges act like tags. As an avid donut lover, users can add the donut badge to their official interest list on their profile. This essentially connects them to the virtual “donut world”. They can then learn more about the particular badge and the steps they need to take to advance in their donut badge rankings.
Join a Community: Once adding the donut badge as a new interest, users can start posting about their love for the pastry and document their chronicles at donut shops! While doing so, Loop connects them to other people who share their love of donuts, allowing users to meet and interact with new donut mates!
Express Yourself— The Badge Ranking & Authentication System: Once the user has familiarized themselves with their chosen badge ranking system, they can begin to follow the steps to advance in badge levels. For example, a user might need to ‘check in’ on Loop at 50 donut shops to prove they’re a donut connoisseur, etc… Based on the predetermined individual ranking model, the more a user engages with the product/interest and completes the necessary action to advance a level, the higher their badge ranking in the category becomes! All the while, users join the badge’s “community” where they can share their experiences with like-minded donut-friends, join relevant discussion groups, recommend new donut places, and even segment all their donut friends into badge levels. As not everyone’s extent of donut-love is the same, this segmentation allows users to directly interact with other people who have the same degree of dedication and badge level as them. Exclusive groups can further be created between members who have reached a certain badge level. Each users’ collection of badges ultimately creates a kind of online profile and visual representation of every individual’s personality.
Increase in Rank and Earn Rewards: When users advance in any badge rank, their profile picture will adjust per category to show their current badge level. Each category and brand can elect to provide a reward or perk-system that gifts users for their proven brand loyalty or dedication to the field. For example, certain donut shops may choose to issue membership cards to higher-ranking donut badge owners.
How many badges are there?
The Loop platform currently has over 300 different badges in development, with 47 badges already made public. These badge categories range from brands, to sports teams, virtual gaming, universities, general hobbies and more. Each of these badges has its own specific badge-advancement and possible reward system. For brands, sports teams, or gaming, each entity has its own agreements with Loop. As such, Loop’s growth potential is massive, as it can infinitely grow by creating more cooperation with businesses, as well as increase badges and customization options for its users.
Universities: University badges help connect between fellow students and alumni members. Users can confirm they attended the University by supplying their student email to verify their identity. Loop in this way allows the formation of groups that are both exclusive yet are also platforms to meet others who attended the same alma mater.
General Hobbies: Badges do not have to be brand specific, and can also cover general hobbies such as surfing. To gain rank and improve in surfing badges for example, users can prove their love for surfing by posting statuses telling the world they just conquered the sea. Users can also meet other surfers through this badge, and share pictures of their surfing adventures to the surfing badge community.
Gaming: If a user is a League of Legends fan, for example, they can show fellow members in the badge community their prowess at the game by ascending ranks in accordance with game levels. Loop similarly works with many different games in the gaming industry, each of which has its own active community of players that are able to interact, talk gaming strategies and display their progress through badges on the platform.
Note: The above images are only representations of the Loop badges. The real badges are designed by a Loop team member and are customized and specialized to the badge category.
What does the market currently look like?
Loop’s timing in the market is ideal, with a constantly growing target audience. More than ever before, people are open to join and be active on different social media platforms at once. The many Loop sport badges are also very fitting for the American market, where engagement in some form of sport-watching or playing is widespread.
78% of Americans have at least 2 social network accounts.
|The US social network industry market size is 4X that of China’s— the second largest global market.|
|The number of social network users is growing at an annual rate of 5%.||95% of Americans participate in at least one sport-related activity every day.|
What problems does Loop solve?
The current market of social media has reached a stalemate period in the development and revolutionizing of new platforms. Loop offers a fresh new take on the existing traditional business models, and solves several standard social media problems in the process.
| Poor Content Quality
|| ⇒ Incentive Mechanism
| High Opportunity Cost
|| ⇒ Visual Social Tags
| Inefficient Interaction
|| ⇒ Precise Categorization
Who are Loop’s competitors and what is Loop’s added value over other market players?
While Loop has some direct competitors in the US social media market, Loop is a unique social media platform that aims to understand the psychology behind people and thus create a platform based on organic behavior rather than computer algorithms. The following are Loop’s main competitors:
Who is Loop’s main audience?
Loop’s main audience currently caters to the West, with a large percentage of users coming from the USA and Australia. As the company expands, however, it aims to grow into markets in the Far East as well. The majority of Loop’s users are segmented into sports lovers, fans of specific sports teams, gamers, and more general hobbyists.
B2C: What added value does Loop provide its users?
Customization: Beyond its database of users’ preferences and interests, Loop can further identify the spectrum and extent of each users’ interest in a particular topic. This data allows users to fully customize their connections list by specifying what kind of people they have as friends. For example, a user who is a badge level 3 surfing fan may make a setting that only accepts friend requests from fellow surfers who are of the same level.
Incentive: The badge ranking system further provides incentive for users to strive to be their best at whatever interest they hold. If a user is an avid skier, they are driven to push themselves and conquer more challenging slopes so as to ascend a badge level and in the process improve their skill.
B2B: What added value does Gogo provide the brands it works with?
Valuable Information: Like the users, brands who are in cooperation with Loop are able to distinguish their consumers’ different level of interest in their product and target content to them appropriately. Brands are also able to attain other valuable information about their consumers such as demographics.
Brand Loyalty & Visibility: Loop promotes brand loyalty and helps improve brand visibility. The Loop platform endorses brands through the most organic form of advertising- word of mouth.
What is Loop’s Business Model?
Loop’s business model is based on a four-part profit strategy consisting of ads, sponsorships, paid badges and merchandise. As many of the badges are in direct accordance with brands, this provides Loop with the ability to create brand-partnerships that provide users with rewards that they have already indicated they would like (through their badge selection and rank).
What is Loop’s Marketing Strategy?
Loop’s marketing strategy is called “Hyper Local Saturation Marketing” (HLS). HLS focuses on targeting local interest groups (e.g. golden retriever owners in California). This then leads to Loop creating badges for these target groups. These badges can then go on to gather a large number of “high-stickiness” users, resulting in longer engagement time. This strategy was chosen for the following reasons:
- To establish a competitive advantage and raise the entry barrier
- Low cost
- Highly compatible with Loop’s business model
Once Loop hits 100,000 users, it will switch to new marketing strategy of traffic carrying in which in-house behaviors will be transferred to and from the partnership platforms (like those in gaming).
How has Loop thus far evolved as a company?
Since launching in October of 2016, Loop has already secured its Angel investment and is currently in its A-Round. The company currently aims to raise 5 million $ which will go towards team expansion, product marketing, and R&D.
What is Loop’s expansion strategy?
Loop is currently based in WeWork offices in Silicon Valley. The company has aims to expand its offices both to the East Coast of the USA, as well as locations throughout Europe, East Asia and Australia.
The following are screenshots from the Loop app:
Meet the team!
Qiu Xi (Carter): Carter is the CEO and founder of Loop. Originally from Liaoning, Carter completed his undergraduate degree in Australia’s Macquarie University, majoring in accounting. Carter’s work experience includes 3 prior entrepreneurial ventures, as well as working for JP Morgan in Hong Kong. While in Australia, Carter founded a successful website entitled “Love Sydney” (爱悉尼) which was acquired in 2015. He further founded the game “Knight”, which was acquired in March 2013.
Yi Zhou: Yi Zhou is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Loop. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Software Engineering from Zhejiang University of Technology, and furthermore holds a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Beihang University. Yi Zhou previously served as a founding member and mobile app developer for Tencent’s WeChat, and has most recently worked as a tech leader of multiple projects for Google’s G-mail. He also came in at 3rd place in the ICPC Asia Regional.
Jingbo Xu: Jingbo Xu is the user interface designer of Loop. He recieved a PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on Social Networking and Big Data. He also designed the user interface for several multi-million dollar user apps, and served as Tencent’s software engineer. He has published pieces with SIGMOD and VLDB Conferences.
Ashton Anderson: Ashton Anderson is the badge designer for Loop. As such, he develops the story, ranking system and model behind each badge in accordance with the companies’ wishes. He holds a PhD from Stanford University and was awarded the WWW2014 thesis of the year. His PhD focus was in the integration computer science with social sciences. He served as a consumer analyst for Microsoft, and has also worked as a consultant for the the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Yahoo.
Connect With Loop
For more information:
Download the app:
Loop is now recruiting users for alpha testing.