Just as we thought we don’t need another social networking app plaguing our mobile devices, Inlope thinks otherwise. The Germany-based startup wants to localise our social networking experience by connecting us with the townsfolk in our neighbourhood. And just like other interest-based apps, the company wants to form a community based from like-minded people nearby.

Microsoft’s Support for Inlope

Inlope, which stands for INterest, LOcation, & PEople, is an interest-based social network that aims to provide a local community for people with similar interests within the town area or the next. Backed up by Microsoft’s BizSpark program for startups, Inlope’s server costs and marketing are already shouldered. Yet, in terms of it backend, almost all attributes are still bootstrapped.

The social networking app is currently ad-free, and is still reliant on Microsoft’s funding. Once the support dies down, or money runs out, Inlope would change its business model to focus on interest-based, local advertising. A plan to monetise the app isn’t going to happen as of the moment.

Using Inlope

Once the user has signed up, he will be asked to identify his location and choose the categories he’s interested in among the 120 choices. The choices include sports, animals, technology, traveling, music, political interest, and arts among others. The user can also request a new category, but that doesn’t mean Inlope will just approve to it immediately.

After the sign up process, Inlope will then pull in relevant, filtered content based from the chosen categories and location (most probably within the area). And just like other social networking apps like Twitter and Facebook, Inlope users can share the usual content with their interest groups such as photos, videos, and text.

Sharing with siloed groups isn’t something new. Facebook has already cooked up this concept with its Groups feature. Inlope, on the other hand, is focusing more on micro-sharing instead of announcing a user’s interest to all of his FB friends. This is a twist which nobody has done so far, except for Inlope.

Availing Inlope

Inlope is currently available in English and German and has been released on the iOS App Store for free. Its focused is still on mobile, but a desktop version is part of the plan for the future, too.

Users should expect to see a rather crude user interface and less content as of the moment, since it has been launched. Still, with Microsoft’s help, the company is still improving the app while hoping to attract more users to make the app official.