Loopt apps getting Groupon-like daily deals

Loopt's location-based iPhone and Android apps will soon offer you daily deals fine-tuned to your current location.

Impulse buyers, beware. Loopt is jumping on the deal-a-day bandwagon, pushing alerts for deeply discounted goods and services in its location-aware social-networking app for iPhone (iOS) and Android.

Loopt's new "Reward Alerts" program, announced today in time for next week's South By Southwest technology and music conference, will push notifications for instantly redeemable deals.

However, to keep its daily deal from being a dime a dozen, Loopt will push a few high-value deals at various times throughout the day. Deals are based on your location, possibly down to the city block if the provider wants, and begin and end in a flash. Discounts will be first come, first serve, and businesses can choose the quantity and time limits.

For example, Southwest Airlines will give away 10 round-trip tickets for the first 10 people to redeem them at South By Southwest. Microsoft will reward first responders with Kinects.

The rest of us will get our first opportunity with the deals in mid-to-late March. Loopt hasn't yet announced a general launch date. When it does, you'll be able to start receiving alerts by updating the Loopt app and turning on Rewards in the application settings.

Location-aware companies like Loopt and others have long had their eye on delivering deals based on one's surroundings as a form of advertising, but it took the meteoric ascent of Groupon, LivingSocial, Yipit, and others for the model to gain ground. Thanks to Groupon's purported $800 million profit, business owners are quick to climb on board with adverdeals.

Now all Loopt needs to do, Loopt CEO Sam Altman told CNET in a phone interview, is teach phone owners to anticipate and respond to push notifications for right-now deals.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.