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Loopt, a company based in Silicon-Valley and backed by leading venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates, has created a revolutionary social-mapping service that changes the way friends connect, share, and explore in the mobile environment. Leveraging the latest location-based technologies, Loopt automatically updates and delivers friend location maps, messages, and alerts on mobile handsets and the Web.

“The feature, called Rewards Alerts, combines elements of the Loopt Rewards system with the app’s proximity alerts. The concept behind Reward Alerts is to keep users abreast of flash deals taking place in their general vicinity.”

Loopt already has a handful of companies ready to go at the lauch of the new rewards system. Companies include: TiVo, Twelve South, Altec Lansing, Jawbone, Microsoft and Southwest Airlines.

The reward alerts will be launching at SXSW interactive in Austin, Texas. Loopt will set up a “Rewards Wagon” with $45,000 in giveaways available by these companies.

According to Mashable, the Rewards Wagon will work like so:

  • Users need to download Loopt for iPhone or Android and check in anywhere in Austin during SXSW.
  • As long as the “Rewards Alerts” setting is on (in Loopt Settings -> Notifications), users will be notified of Reward Alerts as they happen.
  • The alert will tell the user what is being offered and where he or she can go to claim a prize.
  • Prizes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and will have limited availability.

The giveaway of products by a national carrier, no-doubt is exciting. But what most will really be looking for is the local deals offered by mom and pop type of stores.  This feature has the possibility of opening up new doors as well as our pockets. Unlike Foursquare’s special rewards, Loopt automatically alerts you when you’re nearby a place that has a giveaway. This has the potential to push people to places that have a special promotion. With the recent success of local deals from companies like Groupon and LivingSocial (who now air commercials on primetime TV), this feature has the potential to alter the landscape of location-based networking. It will be interesting to see what Loopt comes up with in the near future.

How do you feel about these local alerts? Interested? If any of you are going to be at SXSW, let us know if you try it out.

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