LOOP Messenger, the latest in group messaging apps, aims to help students focus on what’s really important, minus all of the noise.
LOOP allows users to message a large group, such as a club on campus or a study group, with the option to adjust notification pop-ups to off, high or low. Users also have the ability to mute individual conversations within the group, so a club member doesn’t have to sift through old messages.
LOOP looks like a better Facebook Messenger, letting students comment on each other’s texts without losing sight of the main goal. LOOP Messenger is clean and organized, but is it necessary in the ever-growing world of group messaging apps?
After users download the app and enter their phone number, LOOP Messenger prompts them to add a profile picture. In fact, a user can’t message a group without one. This necessary set-up is not the strongest part of the app, but LOOP does allow its users to set their location to a specific college or university.
After selecting University of Connecticut from the list, a user will now see a “what’s happening in Storrs” group chat. This might be more helpful as the app grows in popularity, but right now it’s empty.
LOOP prides itself on its “powerful admin and personalization controls,” but it’s the app’s most confusing aspect. What’s the point of having a group chat if not all members can post in it? Similarly, the power of a group chat should not be left in the hands of one administrator, yet LOOP sets up each group this way.
The color customization for each group is a thoughtful touch, but the need to have a group name as well as a shorthand version of the same name with a hashtag is redundant.
With the options of GroupMe, iMessage and Facebook group chats, LOOP Messenger does not stand out amongst the competition. GroupMe is also more relevant and accessible for university clubs, and even has LOOP’s mute feature. An iMessage group chat has a “do not disturb” button, as well. Facebook group users have the choice to deselect notifications when a member of the group reacts to a message or mentions another member’s name. LOOP Messenger does not have the option to react to a message with a heart, thumbs up or exclamation point, like other group messaging apps do.
Unless a LOOP Messenger user specifies what college or university they attend, there is a small fee to gain access to LOOP Premium. For $2.99 a year, LOOP Premium customers can create an unlimited number of groups, set the priority of each group and add group colors. Students are automatically granted free access to LOOP Premium when they sign up.
LOOP Messenger may catch on for college students balancing multiple group chats, but LOOP can’t be very profitable without non-university users spending a little cash to upgrade to their premium app.
LOOP Messenger is available on the App Store and Google Play.
Leah Sheltry is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.