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28% of American adults use location-based services

I’ve noted before that libraries have branches and multiple locations because geography is important for face-to-face service, community and learning. That’s one reason why I track location based services so much. I am also a Foursquare addict, the absentee mayor of too many places, and that’s probably bad.

28% of American adults use mobile and social location-based services
by Kathryn Zickuhr, Aaron Smith

More than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:

• 28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location—that works out to 23% of all adults.
• A much smaller number (5% of cell owners, equaling 4% of all adults) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones.
• 9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services. That works out to 7% of all adults.

Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones—and many users do several of them. These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and represent Project’s most expansive study of location services to date.

“Americans are not currently all that eager to share explicitly their location on social media sites, but they are taking advantage of their phones’ geolocation capabilities in other ways,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet Project research specialist and co-author of the report. “Smartphone owners are using their phones to get fast access to location-relevant information on-the-go.””

Read the full report here. (13 page PDF)

I believe that geo-based web services and products will be essential to library strategies in the future.

Stephen

Posted on: September 13, 2011, 7:20 am Category: Uncategorized

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