Innovation That Matters

Interest-based social network connects likeminded locals

Work & Lifestyle

Germany's Inlope wants to create local social networks based on a range of interests for likeminded individuals.

The web is great at enabling users to connect with someone halfway around the world that shares their obscure interest in Japanese punk bands. But it's actually still not that easy to find locals with the same interests. We recently wrote about, the app that connects nearby walking enthusiasts for a hike. Now Germany's Inlope is doing the same thing for any interest topic, creating a local social network for likeminded individuals.

Inlope's name comes from its three key bases — Interest, Local and People — and is actually filling a gap when it comes to social networks. While Facebook has its Groups feature (which the company has incidentally just launched as a standalone app), users aren't organized by location. Those signing up for Inlope can subscribe to various interests — whether its golf, technology or Japanese punk bands — and immediately see those closest to them who've also subscribed to those topics.

Currently the topics available are selected by Inlope, although users can request a new one to be added. Users also get new posts related to their interests in a Facebook-style newsfeed, filtered by location, and can post their own status updates about particular topics that will appear in the feeds of likeminded locals.

Inlope recently won financial backing from Microsoft and the ad-free app costs nothing to download from the App Store. Are there other ways that society could be better organized through smart functions such as this?



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