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According to the most recent Pew Research Center data, the percentage of U.S. adults that utilize their smartphones to access location-based information has almost doubled in the past year from 23% in May, 2011 to 41% in February 2012. Among smartphone owners, 18% reported using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla and nearly three fourths of owners reported using location based services for directions and other information related to location. Of this 74%, the trend favored women (75%) over men (73%) and young adults aged 18-29 (80%) over middle-aged adults 50+ (64%). The rise in location-based and geosocial service adoption can be attributed to the rise in smartphone ownership among American adults; 46% of adults now have a smartphone compared with 35% in May, 2011.
As smartphone ownership continues to rise, especially among teens and young adults, understanding the desires and goals of consumers it vital to using location-based services effectively in a marketing context. With Foursquare’s recent facelift, the industry may be seeing more opportunities for geolocation marketing.
Zickuhr, Kathryn. (11 May, 2012). Three-quarters of smartphone owners use location-based services. Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.