Geosocial/Location-based services usage according to PEW (#techusage)

The PEW Internet&American life project has a new report about usage of location-based services. As usual, it's mostly quantitative data (phone survey) and it's focused on Americans but it's full of interesting material for people who follow this domain. Before heading to the results, let's stop first at how they define the focus of their research. In this research, they only zero in a specific category of LBS: the so-called "geo-social" applications:

"Location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla use internet-connected mobile devices’ geolocation capabilities to let users notify others of their locations by “checking in” to that location. Location-based services often run on stand-alone software applications, or “apps,” on most major GPS- enabled smartphones or other devices."

This is important because it means that the focus is not on car navigation assistant or smartphone GPS platforms.

Now, about the main results:

  • "7% of adults who go online with their mobile phone use a location-based service.
  • 8% of online adults ages 18-29 use location-based services, significantly more than online adults in any other age group.
  • 10% of online Hispanics use these services – significantly more than online whites (3%) or online blacks (5%).

  • 6% of online men use a location-based service such as Foursquare or Gowalla, compared with 3% of online women.
  • The current number shows little change from the first time this question was asked, in a May 2010 survey, when 5% of adult internet users said they had used such a site."

Some more tables:

Why do I blog this? It's interesting to see the stats for geosocial applications (I'd be curious to compare to broader use of location-based services, such as navigation systems) and the results are fairly in line with my understanding of the situation right now. Important figures to keep in mind when talking about the adoption of such apps.