September 8, 2011
Location has become a major factor in how people use mobile devices and social media. According to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 28 percent of adults in this country now use location-based services on mobile devices or social media.
Twenty-eight percent of cellphone owners in the United States — or 23 percent of all adults in the country — reportedly use their phones to find directions or recommendations based on their current location. A smaller number, 5 percent of cellphone owners (usually meaning smartphone owners) use their devices to check-in or announce their locations through geo-social services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Younger smartphone users, ages 18-49, are more likely than those over 50 to use either geo-social or location-based services, the report says.
The research also finds that 9 percent of Internet users in the United States, or 7 percent of U.S. adults, set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to automatically include their locations in the messages they post. — Greg Beaubien