LOOP Messenger app aims to connect Park City | ParkRecord.com

LOOP Messenger app aims to connect Park City

The app works off co-founder’s previous business Suggest It

Tom Klein, left, and Donna Kennett met at PandoLabs in Park City and decided to combine efforts to create the LOOP Messenger app. The communication app is being used by groups all over Park City. (Courtesy of Donna Kennett)

Communicating with a large group may be easier in the technological age, but messages can get lost in the dozens of notification alerts one receives each day. One company aims to help businesses, school clubs and even mountain bikers filter through the noise and stay connected.

LOOP Messenger emerged out of a union between an app launched last year by Tom Klein, Suggest It, and an idea Donna Kennett had. LOOP allows users to better manage group communication with short-form messages instead of a running conversation that blows up their phones. Users are also able to control the amount of notifications they receive.

Kennett and Klein both wanted to aid businesses and groups in Park City to improve communication within their organizations and the community.

LOOP Messenger, shown above in a screen shot, helps people find local groups that are in their area they can join for group messaging. (Courtesy of Donna Kennett)

Ted McAleer, managing director of PandoLabs, helped introduce Kennett to Klein when she approached him at the nonprofit entrepreneur space with her idea for an app that helped people unfamiliar with a community ask locals for help and keep information in one place.

Suggest It tackled the similar problem of organizing local activities in one space, but it needed a re-vamp for more people to use it every day, Klein said.

Since its launch two months ago, LOOP has been used by local restaurants Five5eeds and Harvest Park City, Park City High School student group PCCAPS and even families. There are about 400 Park City users, Kennett said.

Andrew Percy, owner of Five5eeds, uses the app to communicate with employees and inform customers about specials or deals.

"It's almost like an internal social media," he said.

His staff uses it to coordinate if they need a shift covered, and he uses it to tell them about good reviews from customers. By having short-form messages that contain threads, he said, it is easier to sift through old conversations and find relevant comments. He has seen staff communication improve since they began using the app two months ago.

"No one misses out and it's all very open," he said.

Klein said he sees the possibility of the app helping a lot of companies improve communication, especially because the app's ability to easily add and remove people from groups would help those in industries with frequent employee turn-over.

Groups on the LOOP Messenger app can be public, private or secret, and administrators manage members.

Kennett and Klein agreed that the app has a broad range of uses, but they feel like Park City is the ideal location to launch because of its tight-knit population.

"Park City is really community-focused," Kennett said. "It's not like you're living in a big city and you're just one person. In Park City, you feel like you're part of a community and you actually want to embrace that feeling."

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The duo said they hope to expand to other communities like Park City, including universities, which was Kennett's original target audience for her idea. It is already being used at a university in Virginia.

"We can introduce LOOP into communities across the country," Klein said. "And partner with local governments and prominent businesses and use it as a distribution platform to keep people in the loop."