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Checking in to the idea of check-ins

Published by Jason Harris June 09, 2011

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Checking in to the idea of check-ins

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10

Published by Jason Harris June 09, 2011

PORTLAND, OR, United States – Do you utilize location based services on your mobile? That is – are you one who likes to check-in to services to seek out friends or to announce your day’s events to your social networks. Here in the United States, we have three major services to choose from including Foursquare, Facebook and Gowalla.

According to new figures from comScore, the popularity of checking-in is rising, but is far from mainstream. In their numbers, comScore says that 16.7 million U.S. mobile subscribers used a check-in service from a mobile device in March 2010, which is about 7 percent of the entire mobile audience. Going deeper, 12.7 million check-in users did so from a smartphone, despite the fact that smartphones only constitute 36% of all phone sold in the U.S.

This correlation implies that as smartphones rise in popularity, check-ins will likely become even more part of the norm. Again, looking to comScore, check-ins on mobile are occurring with very young users, with 26% of all check-ins come from 18-24 years olds and 32.5% of all check-ins originating from 25-34 year olds. In my observation, check-ins began occurring more frequently in my social media channels when Facebook launched location based check-ins last Fall. Since then, more of my Facebook and Twitter friends are showing check-ins, being heavily skewed towards Facebook.

Concerns Remain

Even though numbers may be up, location-based services have major hurdles to jump over. The most obvious issue is privacy, and a recent Nielsen survey shows to be a chief concern. In the figures, 59% of women and 52% of men are concerned about revealing their location to a third-party service or website. Does this mean women are less likely to check-in on Foursqare or Facebook? Not so – 50.8 percent of all check-ins occur by ladies.

Check-in Fatigue

For me, I find that many of my friends are spread across different networks. Some are on only Facebook, while others utilize Foursquare or another location based check-in service. This is where Ovi Maps comes in to be another useful tool in my arsenal. This is because in this great maps app, I can check into multiple location services with one action. Personally, when I check in to Ovi Maps, I push the update to Foursquare and Facebook and love this utility.

How about you? Do you use check-in services? Why or why not?

image credit: Flickr User nam palmero

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