Foursquare and other location-based app Hype
Do you check in on Foursquare or another location-based app on a weekly basis? If so, you’re among just 2% of the adult population, according to a new report.
Forrester Research surveyed 37,000 people with mobile phones and found that the majority of them (70%) had never even heard about geo-social apps, though that figure is down from last year when 84% had never heard of these apps. Still, even among the 30% of respondents who are familiar with location-based apps, only a minority use them often.
Of the 5% who are active location based service users, the survey found 2% who use the apps weekly, 1% use them monthly and another 2% use them less than once a month.
The findings should be a wake-up call for dealership Internet Managers who may get a distorted impression about the actual prevalence of such apps. For instance, Foursquare announced it now has a user base of 15 million people. But Melissa Parrish, a senior analyst at Forrester who authored the study, says that figure doesn’t mean that geo-social apps have gone mainstream since “many registered users are not active users.”
However, the news is not all bad for purveyors of location-based apps. Parrish also found that location-based service (LBS) app users are twice as likely as the average U.S. online adult to share information about products they are considering purchasing or have purchased. They also skew young: 75% are between the ages of 23 and 45.
Another finding is that female LBS users are on the rise. Last year, just 22% of app users were female and this year, the figure is now 37%.
Despite the relatively low active user base, many in the industry see potential for the technology. In particular, Facebook gave LBS a huge vote of confidence this week by acquiring Gowalla, a competitor to Foursquare with about two million registered users.