Foursquare seems to be the new hot thing. “Checking in” to places on Facebook is a new key phrase. But how many people are actually using these kinds of services? Not a whole lot.
The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life study found that just 4% of people over the age of 18 are using “geosocial” apps, or online services that allow users to share network or GPS-based details about their current location.
As to be expected, the older crowds were even less likely to use these services. Meanwhile, among those aged 18 to 29, 8% said they use location-based apps. And anyone who had an advanced cell phone was, unsurprisingly, also more likely. 7% of those who owned a smartphone said they used apps like Foursquare.
While many users, especially younger ones, are finding it easier to give up their privacy in exchange for cool online features, giving away specific details about where they are at a given time is a concept that the vast majority still has trouble coping with.
The Pew report also noted details about the growth of Twitter, which also now allows for geo-tagging. While users are still skeptical about sharing their locations there too, it may only be a matter of time. Nearly a quarter of adults now say they use Twitter. Just two years ago, that number was 6%.