A growing numbers of cell phone owners use their devices to go online#. The number of Internet users who are adding a new layer of location information to their posts is also growing, along with a majority of smartphone owners using their phones’ location-based services#.
To provide a little bit of context for the cell phone access bit, the proportion of cell owners who use their phone to go online has doubled since 2009. This translates into 57% of all American adults.
“A majority of the public now owns a smartphone, and mobile devices are playing an increasingly central role in the way that Americans access online services and information,” said Aaron Smith, a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.
“For many, such as younger adults or lower-income Americans, cell phones are often a primary device for accessing online content—a development that has particular relevance to companies and organizations seeking to reach these groups.”
The second survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project confirms the types of location habits we have observed during user research:
- Smartphone as navigation tool: 74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.
- Location included in social media accounts settings: the growth in the number of users setting their accounts to include location in their posts has grown considerably. Among adult social media users ages 18 and older, 30% say that at least one of their accounts is currently set up to include their location in their posts, up from 14% who said they had ever done this in 2011. 16% of teen (ages 12-27) social media users have their accounts set up to automatically include their location in posts.
- Check-ins split among geosocial services: there is a modest drop in the number of smartphone owners who use “check in” location services. 12% of adults say they use a geosocial service to “check in” to certain locations or share their location with friends, down from 18% of smartphone owners who reported doing that type of activity in early 2012. A plurality of these geosocial service users (39%) say they check into places on Facebook; 18% say they use Foursquare and 14% say they use Google Plus, among other services.
Becoming more social for business means helping people do what they already want to do, instead of trying to take their attention away from those things.
The opportunity for brands is clear: demonstrate ambient awareness# and provide concierge services to increase relevance.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.