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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 01, 2011

Location-based services "valuable" to 99% of U.S. users

The use of location-based services is increasing, found a recent survey by Microsoft, and the vast majority of users consider them valuable. However, privacy remains a concern for many and must be addressed if location-based services are to realize their full potential.

by Helen Leggatt

mobile-maps.jpgA Microsoft study of about 1,500 people in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Japan, and Germany found that 51% had used a location-based service, and 62% were aware of such services. Regardless of country, young men aged 18-34 are the primary drivers of adoption.

Across all countries, a whopping 94% of location-based services users said they found them valuable, no-one more so than U.S. users (99%). Four in 10 use location-based services once a week and perceived value increases with use as they become ingrained in day-to-day life.

It's no surprise, then, to find that the top uses for location-based services among respondents were related to everyday tasks such as travel and socializing: GPS navigation (70%), weather alerts (46%), traffic updates (38%), restaurant reviews/info (38%), locating nearby convenience services (36%).

But, and it's a big but, despite the popularity of location-based services, privacy concerns loom large and its potential depends largely on allaying those fears.

Over half (84%) of users have concerns surrounding their lack of control over who they share their location with and how that data is used, and many worry their identity (84%) or personal information (83%) could be stolen.

Tags: advertising, location-based ads, location-based marketing, mobile

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  • We can't deny the power of local search and location-based services. Consumers turn to such applications everyday without even thinking about it. But if privacy concerns are not addressed, we could see a decline in usage as people opt to safeguard their information.



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