More smartphone users enjoying location-based apps
The number of people enjoying the interactive nature of location-based smartphone apps is growing, according to a recent study.
PEW Research has released a survey of the online habits of US residents that tracks the use of mobile devices.
It found that up to 28 per cent of respondents who owned a handset regularly made use of smartphone apps and location-based services – such as Foursquare.
This was in contrast with a similar study conducted by PEW in May 2010 which showed that seven per cent of the population that owned mobile phones used these programs.
55 per cent of smartphone owners used their devices to search for directions, with GPS-based services such as Google Maps making up the bulk of these activities.
Over 90 per cent said that they regularly used their handsets for taking pictures, yet only 80 per sent said they sent videos or photos to friends.
An interesting observation for those involved in social media marketing was that only 59 per cent of respondents that owned smartphones used them to access sites such as Facebook, with only 45 per cent of users posting images online through these devices.
Even fewer numbers made use of microblogging networks, with 15 per cent saying they logged in to Twitter through their phones.
This may suggest that the uptake of these media channels through mobiles has been relatively slow – perhaps due to the otherwise limited nature of the physical devices.
While younger adults were more likely to make use of location based apps, there were no significant difference found in the uptake of these avenues when it came to gender.
The research provides professionals involved working in social media strategy with excellent insight into the reach available to businesses through mobile channels.
However, issues such as the cost of data transfers, access to viable handsets and uptake by professions may also have a significant impact on their use, but were not covered by this particular study.