The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Apps like Foursquare are most popular among the young, Pew Research Center finds.
Location-based services is a hot topic in mobile commerce. And there’s a lot of hype around “geosocial” mobile apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Shopkick, which enable users with GPS-outfitted smartphones or wireless-equipped laptops to “check in” at locations, such as a retail store, share their location with friends, read comments about that location by other users, and find other users nearby. According to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, however, it’s still early days.
4% of online adults use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla. On any given day, 1% of Internet users are using these services. This is the second survey by Pew to ask about location-based services. In a May 2010 survey, 5% of adult Internet users said they had used such an app or site.
Key findings in the current survey include:
- 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 compared with 3% of online women.
Though location-based services typically require a phone with mobile web access and GPS functionality, 2% of non-wireless users (those who do not go online with either a mobile phone or a wireless-enabled laptop) also say they have used a location-based service. This number may include mobile phone users who use geosocial services that enable checking in via text message. These non-wireless respondents may also include individuals who use location-reporting services such as Google Latitude or Dopplr, which can be used on a PC.
The new Pew report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans’ use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from land-line and mobile telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between Aug. 9 and Sept. 13, 2010, among a sample of 3,001 adults, age 18 and older.