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Mobile – Use of Smartphone Location-Based Tools Nearly Doubles : MarketingProfs Article

Growing numbers of smartphone owners are using location-based information services: Nearly three-quarters (74%) say they use their smartphone to get real-time location-based information, up from the 55% who said so a year earlier, according to a study by Pew Research.

Moreover, 18% of surveyed smartphone owners say they use a geosocial service such as Foursquare to “check in” to certain locations or share their location with friends. That’s up from a reported 12% in May 2011.

Finding maps and directions is among the most popular location-based smartphone activities, via services such as Google Maps. However, location data is increasingly being used to enhance mobile apps ranging from photography to restaurant reservations.

By contrast, check-in services have languished with lower adoption overall, in large part due to privacy concerns.

Below, findings from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Increased enthusiasm for location-based apps coincides with a sharp rise in smartphone ownership.

Some 46% of all US adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011. That means that the overall proportion of adults who get location-based information has almost doubled over the nine-month period—from 23% in May 2011, to 41% in February 2012.

Not surprisingly, 93% of the smartphone owners who use geosocial services also report getting location-based directions and information.

Younger smartphone owners are more likely than older ones to use both location-based information services and geosocial check-in services:

  • 80% of those age 18-29 use location-based services, compared with 75% of those age 30-49 and 64% of those age 50+.
  • 23% of those age 18-29 use geosocial services, compared with 17% of those age 30-49 and 14% of those age 50+.

However, although smartphone owners in lower-income households are less likely than those in higher-income households to use location-based information services (69% vs. 75%), they are more likely to use geosocial services (23% vs. 15%).

About the data: The report titled “Three-Quarters of Smartphone Owners Use Location-Based Services” was issued by the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism and authored by Kathryn Zickuhr, Research Specialist for Pew Internet. The findings are based on telephone interviews with 2,253 adults, age 18 and older, administered Jan. 20 to Feb. 19, 2012, in English and Spanish by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI).