Only 12% of US Smartphone Owners Are Checking In

Social and Geosocial Activities Used By Smartphone Owners via Pew ResearchA new study from the Pew Research Center measures the popularity of social activities among mobile phone and smartphone users, and finds that checking in – through geosocial services such as Foursquare and Gowalla – is the least popular.

While 83% of adults in the US own a cell phone, only 35% own a smartphone.  Of those smartphone owners, 59% use their phone to access a social networking site, 55% use it to get location-based directions or recommendations, and only 12% use it for checking in to location-based social networks, including Foursquare, Gowalla, and others.

The survey also examined the demographics of smartphone owners using geosocial and location-based services:

  • younger adults are more likely to use these services
  • 68% of college graduates use them, compared with 44% of those who have not gone to college
  • there are no significant differences by gender
  • those in households making at least $75,000 per year are more likely to use location-based directions and info

The survey also included those who automatically add geotagging to their updates on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Just 14% of social media users say they include their location with their social posts (this equals 7% of American adults.)

The results are based on a national telephone survey of 2,277 adults conducted April 26- May 22, 2011 by The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.  Download the full survey results here.