A Quarter of Adult Americans Use Location-Based Services

Filed in GIS Learning by on September 6, 2011
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A new survey by the Pew Internet and American Life project has found that 28% of Americans use mobile and social location-based services (LBS).  The survey looked at the usage among American adults for such services as Foursquare and accessing mobile driving directions.  The survey found that the dominate preference among adults (28%) using location based services is for accessing driving directions or getting recommendations based on their locations.  The number of adults using location-based services to “check-in” their geographic location drops to only 4% of users and only 7% use LBS for automatically tagging the location on their social media updates.

The survey found the proportion of adults using LBS services varies based on socioeconomic factors.  The survey looked at the breakdown of LBS usage based on gender, age, income, education, and face/ethnicity.  For example, using geolocation is far more popular among younger generations with 18% of adults in the 18-29 age bracket using geosocial services (such as Foursquare and Gowalla) versus only two percent of adults over 50.  Income is a predictor of the preference for using location-based directions versus geosocial services.  Sixty-four percent of adults in the over $75,000 annual income bracket used directions and location-based recommendations on their phones while only eight percent in that same group used geosocial services.  Conversely, 18 percent of adults in the less than $40,000 annual income used geosocial services as compared to a little over half (51%) that used directions and location-based recommendations.

The survey was conducted between April 26 and May 22, 2011 and surveyed 2,277 adults (18 years and older) of which 688 were smartphone users.  The poll was conducted via phone in both English and Spanish.

Read the full report:   28% of American adults use mobile and social location-based services

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