New Pew Studies Highlight Importance of Getting Location and Mobile Services Right

Pew_Cell Owners Go Online Using Phones
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
. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.

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