The Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that location-based services are on the rise, particularly on social media sites.
“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,” the study found.
Additionally, about three-quarters of adult smartphone owners use their phones for directions or other location-based information.
The number of people using “check in” location services, meanwhile, is dropping. About 12 percent use these services now, compared to 18 percent in 2012. “Among 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,” the study found.
Pew explained that the rising number of smartphone owners is directly tied to the increase in location services.
In a Poynter.org piece, “5 reasons why mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago,” Breaking News’ Cory Bergman explained that geolocation and digital payments are two of the main drivers of mobile disruption.
Taken together, they have the capability to disrupt local advertising all over again. The right technology with the right execution will be able to drive nearby consumers into local businesses and anonymously track their actual purchases at scale, closing the loop like never before. No more guessing about ad effectiveness. For local media organizations, that has the potential to destroy your business.
All the more reason to develop a mobile strategy and recognize how geolocation services fit into people’s mobile activity.
Related Pew studies: One-third of people without broadband have a smartphone | 25 percent of teens access Internet mainly through a phone | Data show why newspapers still need to look good on smartphones
Related How To: How journalists can use location-based apps as a reporting tool.