Loopt Does Deal with Coupons Provider

Loopt has done a deal with mobile couponer Mobile Spinach to provide location-based offers to Loopt users. It's San Francisco only at this point.

On the one hand this is smart because it's a another way to monetize location but one that is largely welcome by most consumers, compared to other types of mobile ads. (We detailed in our mobile coupons webinar the value and success metrics of mobile coupons and offers.)

TechCrunch and VentureBeat both cover the "mechanics" of the deal and discuss FourSquare, etc. What's more interesting to me is to see Loopt struggle to define and redefine itself under pressure from Facebook, Yelp and LBS "games" such as FourSquare. The company started as a friend-finder/social network and then morphed into Yelp. Now it's adding coupons and local deals. 

But there are a bazillion coupon providers in mobile even at this early stage of the market's development. 

Beyond this there's a more fundamental issue about Loopt's identity and answering the question: Why should I use the service? Unless/until the company can convincingly answer that question -- and I'm not sure it can surrounded by all these larger brands and providers -- it won't have a sustainable business.