12% of smartphone owners use services such as Foursquare to “check in” to certain locations or to share their locations with their friends, finds Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in a new study. That figure actually represents a significant drop from 18% adoption the last time Pew ran a similar survey last year, although that survey was worded slightly differently. While use of check-in services appears to be down, Hispanics continue to outpace the rest of the smartphone-owning population: in this latest survey, 24% of Hispanic smartphone owners claimed to use geosocial services.
Unsurprisingly, the youngest survey respondents were most likely to say they’re using check-in services: 16% of 18-29-year-olds said that was the case, compared to roughly 1 in 10 of the older age groups. Use of the services tended to decline alongside rising educational attainment, and is higher among suburban (14%) than urban (10%) respondents.
Facebook (39%) is the most commonly used location service among “geosocial users,” followed by Foursquare (18%), Google+ (14%) and Google Latitude.
Meanwhile, roughly three-quarters of smartphone owners access location-based information, according to the study. That figure is unchanged from last year, but given higher smartphone penetration, means that a larger percentage (45%) of the US adult population now accesses such information.
About the Data: The Pew results are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among a sample of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,125) and cell phone (1,127, including 571 without a landline phone).
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