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One Quarter of American Adults Use a Location-Based Service

Though only a small percentage of adults use a check-in service like Foursquare, around a quarter of all American adults do use some kind of location-based service on the web or through their mobile phone.

The numbers come from our old friends at Pew and it points to a slow but steady rise in location, location, location.

When it comes to check-in services, only 4% of all adults or 5% of mobile phone owners use such a service. The number jumps up to 12% if you look only at smartphone owners, which makes sense, since they’re the primary target.

28% of mobile phone owners allow the phone to use their current location in order to get directions or recommendations. That number climbs to 55% when you look at just smartphone users. Pretty impressive.

Also included in the study is the 9% of people who allow their online social media offerings to come with a location attached. If you cut up the pie by race, Pew found that a whopping 31% of Latino social media users allow location tagging and 25% of Latino smartphone owners use a location-based service.

From the early days of Google maps to the current advances in GPS technology, location-based services have come a long way. I was reminded of this recently when I watch the characters on a 70’s TV show struggle with a folding map.

“Why don’t they just call for help,” said my husband logically.

“It’s the 70’s, dear. No cell phones,” I replied.

How quickly we forget.


  • Nick Stamoulis

    I think it’s very important for brick and mortar business to take the time and create local search profiles. When someone conducts a local search on their smartphone, they are usually looking to take action. You want your business to be listed in front of customers looking to act!