New data from comScore shows that nearly 1 in 5 smartphone users are using a location-based checkin service. Of the 16.7 million mobile users using checkin services, 12.7 million check in to either foursquare, Facebook Places or Gowalla via smartphones, representing 17% of the smartphone market. Those users display a high consumption rate for mobile media and other hallmarks of early adopters.
â€œAlthough still in their relative infancy, location-based mobile check-in services are seeing rather impressive adoption among smartphone users,â€ said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. â€œThe ability to interact with consumers on this micro-local level through special offers, deals and other incentives provides brands with the real-time opportunity to engage consumers through their mobile device.â€
ComScore’s data paints a much more accurate picture of the actual usage of location-based checkin services than a November Pew report. That survey â€“ widely reported in the tech press â€” indicated that just 4% of online adults used a location-based service.
While location-based services may not be popular across the internet as a whole, the data shows they’ve seen strong adoption in their primary market. Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla are almost exclusively smartphone based, so it’s difficult to compare them with other services that aren’t tied to smartphones. As the global share of smartphones continues to grow, these services are well poised to continue growing along with them.
The report does not break down usage between the services.
Checkin service users exhibited higher media consumption rates across all categories, including accessing applications (97.5% compared to 85% of overall mobile users), their browser (96.3% vs. 82.3%) and news (61.2% vs. 47.2%). Almost a third accessed online retail compared to 18% of overall mobile users.
What do you think of the new report? Is it fair to compare location-based service users with internet users as a whole?