Location based services have been steadily growing and a recent report indicates that 7% of all mobile phone users have used the services via a browser. The Pew Internet report presents the results of surveys from August 9th to September 13th from a population of 3,001 adults. All of the participants were at least 18 years old and used a landline phone connection and a mobile phone. The results are a basis for the report which provides valuable information regarding the use of location based services.
Two of the services are Foursquare and Gowalla as an example and they create the ability to “share” your location with others. This is a social networking type of service and you can share your location with others in your group or others based on your settings. This has hugely popular to the younger generation and a recent offering by Facebook called Deals may expand on the usage of these types of services. The Facebook version involves location based services with coupons or discounts when you check in at a location. The younger generations will jump on that one.
The survey has the following results as a summary of the findings:
- 7% of adults who go online with their mobile phone use a location-based service.
- 8% of online adults ages 18-29 use location-based services, significantly more than online adults in any other age group.
- 10% of online Hispanics use these services – significantly more than online whites (3%) or online blacks (5%).
- 6% of online men use a location-based service such as Foursquare or Gowalla, compared with 3% of online women.
Not surprising in the survey in the results is that mobile phone users are more likely to use the services than those without a smartphone. The 18-29 age group having higher usage is not surprising at all.
Recently, there have been stories about people listing where they are on a services, such as vacation, to return home and find they have been robbed. This is a very serious and real concern people should have in using this type of service. With that said, the younger generations have far less concern with privacy than people over 30 and as a result are more than willing to post information as to where they are at. Some of that method is similar to Twitter where people Tweet where they are, so these new services are far more detailed in what they provide.
For the younger generation, this is a way to meet at the mall or any other place and let your friends know where you are so they can also meet you there. While the current growth is slow, it is expected to continue its growth.