Research shows: Location based networking, yes / Location based networks, no

As I’ve said in previous posts, I am a big believer in location based networking…but less so in some of the location based networks as they currently exist, wondering if they’ve done enough to appeal outside of the social media core.

For example, Invoke Solutions recently had some good and bad news for location based networks.   The good: 52% of (US) consumers would be willing to share their location in exchange for retail perks.   The bad?  Facebook Places had 5% use and Foursquare 3% use.   Interestingly enough, the same study did show an appetite among respondents for ShopKick, which gives you (real) rewards for checking into places.

Invokes stats are echoed by research from Pew among Americans and their willingness to use the current crop of location based networks.   Only 4% of Americans use these services, and on any given day 1% will be ‘checking in.’

Yes, use among 18-29 year olds is higher at 8%, but Pew again shows up the sector’s male dominance.   Pew says it is 2:1 male / female, which isn’t a good place to be in given that social media as a whole is female dominated.

Invoke’s research, which I mention at the start, does hint at the potential of geo-social networking.   It’s just that the current players in this space aren’t remotely there yet.

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