Location-Based Services See Light Use

    November 4, 2010

Four percent of online adults use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla that allows them to share their location with friends and to find others who are in their area, according to a new report form the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Location-based services such as Foursquare or Gowalla are significantly more popular with younger internet users; eight percent of online adults ages 18-29 use location-based services, significantly more than online adults in any other age group.

Wireless internet users, unsurprisingly, are also more likely to use location-based services, especially those who connect to the internet with their cell phone. Seven percent of all adults who go online with their mobile phone say they use a location-based service, as well as 5% of all wireless internet users.    


 Pew found location-based services are similar in some ways to status updating services such as Twitter.  Status updating services have grown in popularity over the past few years, from 6% of online adults saying they had used such a service in August 2008 to 24% in September 2010.

Internet users who use social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace and those who use status-update services such as Twitter also have relatively high levels of location-based service usage:

*Among online adults, 62% use a social networking site such as Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn. Of these social networking site users, 6% use a location-based service.

*24% of online adults use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or to see updates about others. Ten percent of these status update site users use a location-based service, over twice the rate of the general online population.