28 Percent Of US Adults Use Location-based Services
September 7, 2011

28% Of US Adults Use Location-based Services


More than one-quarter of U.S. adults now use mobile and social location-based services, according to a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The survey of 2,277 U.S. adults found that at least 28 percent now use their cellphones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location.

“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,” Pew said.

However, a much smaller number, just 5 percent of cellphone owners, use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. 

Meanwhile, just 9 percent 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, Pew reported. These types of services are more popular among minorities, Pew said.  Indeed, the survey found that Hispanics are the most active group on geolocation and check-in services, with one-quarter of Latino smartphone owners checking-in and 31 percent automatically tagging their location when they post on a social site. By contrast, just 7 percent of white smartphone owners use this type of location-based service.

“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.”

The survey represents the Project´s most expansive study of location services to date.


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