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Location check-ins still unpopular among smartphone owners


According to a study released today from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, only 12 percent of smartphone owners use the device for checking into location services like Foursquare or Gowalla. Within the group of over 2,000 adults, the age group most likely to use the location services were 18 to 29 year old people. Eighteen percent of that age group used check-ins while only 2 percent of people over 50 use the service. Hispanics were more likely to use check-ins at 25% of the test group. Location-based check-ins were more prevalent households making less than $40,000 a year as well as education levels at the high school level.

Foursquare Sad MayorThe group was equally as hesitant to use smartphones to place video calls as well as access Twitter. However, 45 percent of the group use smartphones to post photo or videos online to services like Facebook. In addition, nearly 60 percent of the group use the phone for social networking. However, only nine percent include location in a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn post. Over 75 percent of smartphone owners use the phone for email and 80 percent use the device for sending photos or video to a friend. Tied for first place, 92 percent of all smartphone owners have taken a picture with the phone as well as used the phone to send or receive text messages.

Opposite from checking into a location service, over 50 percent of smartphone owners use location-based directions through a GPS-mapping program as well as using the phone for reviews of locations such as checking up on a new restaurant on Yelp. The study also found that 83 percent of all U.S. adults over the age of 18 own a cell phone and 35 percent of all adults specifically own a smartphone. Usage of location check-in services is much smaller for the cell phone audience clocking in at about 5 percent of owners. 

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