NEW YORK April 24, 2012
Location-based services move into the mainstream
Almost one fifth (19 per cent) of the world’s six billion mobile users are already using LBS, with more than three times this number (62 per cent) aspiring to do so in the future. Navigation with maps and GPS is currently the most popular motivation behind the LBS uptake (46 per cent), but there is growing interest in more diverse activities, with 13 per cent of current social network users ‘checking-in’ through platforms like Foursquare, or Facebook Places – a 50 per cent uplift on 2011.
LBS users are increasingly using services to enrich their social lives, with one in five (22 per cent) using it to find their friends nearby. Around a quarter use the technology to find restaurants and entertainment venues (26 per cent) or check public transport schedules (19 per cent) and 8 per cent to book a taxi.
Savvy LBS users have realized that there is something to be gained from sharing their locations with brands and retailers – with one in eight (12.5 per cent) sharing their location in exchange for a deal or special offer. Beyond current users of LBS, a third of people globally (33 per cent) who already or would like to use mobile voucher coupons, highly rate receiving deals when they are nearby a store that they like. One in five mobile users (21 per cent) stated that they find mobile advertising interesting if it is offering them a deal near their current location.
A complex map of global use
While the study has shown an increasing willingness to engage with LBS, there are also significant variations in people’s reasons for embracing the service across different markets.
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