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Publishing and Sharing Content In The Loop
The Loop - A New Social Network
The loop is a new social network website that looks a little bit like the secret love child of Facebook and Pinterest.
Having only just launched, and being still in 'Beta', the loop is still not a finished product, but it certainly looks interesting so far. In addition to providing Facebook like social networking features the site allows you to create pages, called 'loops', which look vaguely like Pinterest boards, where you can share links, pictures, videos or text posts.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the site, which seems to me like it could make a big impact if they can attract the right users, is the ability for members to publish premium content and charge a small fee for it. When you create a loop and start posting content to the site you can choose to make it open to the public - in which case you still earn a share of the advertising revenue - or ask users to pay a small sum in 'credits'. Credits are the site's internal currency; you get 5 free when you join, earn more if you publish popular content, and of course you can also buy them.
Premium content producers can charge for access to content like articles, videos or live broadcasts - and they can also charge for video calls if they want to provide professional consultations through the site (currently there are some Tarot readers and psychics offering their services like this).
Because it is so new there is very little content there at the moment, but it is easy to imagine that in the future a range of media producers will be able to provide free content alongside pay per view premium content directly to members of the site. Perhaps celebrities will also offer exclusive access to premium content to paying customers, whilst posting other updates and pictures for free public access.
Social Networking Features of the Loop
At its heart The Loop is basically a social networking site, like Facebook, Twitter and others. It is there to help people connect with friends, meet new people, and discover great new content recommended by friends.
Similarities with Other Social Networks
Whereas the premium content aspect of the the site seems to lend itself to the kind of uses which people put twitter to - following celebrities and sharing content recommendations (as well as publishing videos and articles, of course) - the actual look and feel of the site seems more like a cross between Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest.
Like any other site you get your own profile page with a timeline of your posts. You also get a newsfeed of the latest posts from people you are friends with and pages that you follow. Anyone can create one of these pages, called a loop, and you can choose whether to make it a solo effort or a group project - basically replicating the functions of both Facebook pages and Facebook groups. The pages themselves display content in picture blocks, giving it a slightly Pinterest like look (pictures are automatically generated when you share a link).
The loop gives you a high degree of control about what happens to the content you share, and in this way it is kind of similar to Google Plus. When you post content you can choose whether it will be seen by just your family, just people you are friends with, any other group of connections which you define, or everyone who follows you - a function which is vaguely similar to the circles of Google Plus.
You will also find other familiar features such as photo albums, private messaging, and video chat.
Unique Features of The Loop
In addition to the basic features described above, you will also find a range of unique features not found on other social networking websites. These include:
- Spotlights - Universal pages which anyone can publish content to and which are discoverable by any user from the navigation menu
- Channels - posts and pages organized by category to allow for browsing
- Revenue share from advertising
- The option to charge for premium published content
- The option to charge for video chats
Content Sharing in The Loop
There are lots of ways to share content in The Loop, whether you are doing it for fun, to promote your work, or to earn revenue.
The main way that people publish content and share links (other than as a status update on your own profile and therefore shared with friends) is through loops. You can create your own loop on any topic, and then just publish content there yourself, invite friends to join you, or open it up for anybody to contribute. Obviously this also means that you can share content to other people's loops where they have chosen to enable this feature.
You can also share content directly to channels and spotlight pages. When you create a new loop it is a good idea to share it on these pages in order to get new followers - but you cannot do that for individual posts (otherwise there would be too much duplicate content).
Like any other social network you can then promote your pages and posts on the site by getting involved in the community - liking other pages and leaving thoughtful comments - or by sharing them on other sites. If you do share your work on the loop to other websites and somebody signs up for a new account from your page, you will get a share of any revenue earned from them buying credits to access premium content.
The Loop for Hubbers
If you are a writer here on Hubpages and you like the idea of joining The Loop and sharing your hubs there to get extra traffic, then you might want to head on over to the loop I created especially for hubbers.
You can share your own hubs on this page, as well as sharing your tips and experiences about being a hubber and using The Loop to promote your writing.
Check it out here: http://theloop.com/group/Hubpages