hose who use social location-based apps such as Foursquare or Facebook Places represent just 17% of the mobile population, according to a study commissioned by digital agency Beyond and exclusively shared with Mashable.
Of those opting out of participating in the checkin craze, or any other social location behavior for that matter, 48% cited privacy concerns as their primary reason for not doing so. And 50% were merely unable to do so because they did not have a smartphone.
The study uncovered some positive findings for the top brand names in social networking (Facebook) and group buying (Groupon). Ninety percent of respondents actively using checkin applications indicated they use Facebook Places; 40% of those who have never checked in would consider sharing their location with Groupon.
More than half of mobile users who do use checkin apps (54%) said they are motivated to share their location when discounts are involved. Just 21%, however, said badges and status rewards motivated them to check in.
As for consumers not using checkin apps, 99% said they do not consider badges or status an incentive for sharing their location.
The message, at least in the digital agency’s not-so-objective opinion, is that brands do have an opportunity to develop geosocial strategies that reach consumers through Facebook and Groupon.
“The results of this study highlights the huge changes that will take place as social location apps move from niche to mass consumer,” says Beyond CEO David Hargreaves. “Brands that can develop ‘Glocal’ social media strategies, tap into the motivations of the mass consumer and leverage the reach of the Facebook and Groupon platforms will be the real leaders in this sector.”
Beyond, in partnership with the Social-Loco conference, surveyed a statically representative panel of 1,003 U.S. consumers during the week of April 18. Respondents were asked 21 questions designed to assess their familiarity with and usage of Facebook Places, Groupon, Living Social, Twitter’s location features, Yelp checkins, Foursquare, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Path, Instagram, Soundtracking and Aroundme.
The consumer pool’s responses were then compared against online buzz of social location-based apps, as measured by a random sample of 383 online conversations. Checkins and non-English updates were excluded from analysis.
Here are a few more stats pulled from the study:
- Nineteen percent of mass consumers are motivated to check in to learn about the location.
- Early adopters are more likely to check in at locations that sell food or drinks. The top places are restaurants (53%), coffee shops (40%), hotels (38%) and bars (36%).
- Mass consumers check in most frequently at the homes of friends and family (35%) and restaurants (33%).
The study’s results are not all that surprising. We’ve known for some time that the percentage of the population willing to embrace checkins is quite small — just 4% according to the Pew Research Center — and that mobile users have a strong predilection for coupons over checkins.
The findings, though potentially accurate measurements, don’t reflect the maturation of the space or the impressive growth of the smaller social location-based startups pushing the envelope.
For more on the study’s finding, check out the infographic below (click to enlarge).