Mobile-phone location services are on the rise—but check-in services are getting less and less business, according to a report released on Thursday (Sept. 12) by the Pew Research Center.
In a survey taken in May, 74 percent of U.S. adult smartphone owners said they've used their phones to get directions or for other location-based purposes, such as being reminded to buy milk when they're near a grocery store. That matches a February survey and a big jump from the 55 percent who said that a year earlier.
But check-ins appear to be on the way out. Only 12 percent of those surveyed said they ever use a service like Foursquare to inform friends of their location, down from 18 percent in February 2012.
That may not be simply be due to a decline in the popularity of check-in services. The Pew report's author, Kathryn Zickuhr, said that according to previous surveys, many consumers have turned off location-tracking features due to privacy concerns, according to Internet Retailer.
In a similar April 2012 Pew survey, 35 percent of adults said they had turned off their phones' location tracking. In a September 2012 survey, 46 percent of teenagers reported that they had turned off location tracking for fear companies or other people would access that information.
However, while current location may be a concern, many consumers are apparently still willing to tell the world where they've been. The new Pew survey found that 30 percent of adult social media users have set up at least one social-network account so their posts will be tagged with their location. That's up from 14 percent who said they had done that in a 2011 survey.
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