The number of Americans using check-in services has more than doubled in the past nine months according to a new Pew Research Center study.
Pew’s Internet & American Life Project surveyed more than 2,200 adults earlier this year and found that the use of geosocial services — such as Foursquare and Gowalla* — to check-in and/or share location information rose from four percent of all adults last May to 10 percent in February.
And the increased usage of check-in services isn’t just happening among smartphone users. Usage among that group is up from 12 to 18 percent, but regular cellphone users are also checking in more often, as the chart below shows.
The demographics of the smartphone users that check-in are interesting. Pew says 23 percent of smartphone owners between 18-29 years old are using geo-social services, compared to 17 percent of 30-49 year olds and 14 percent of adults above 50 years old. All things considered, that’s not a lot of difference between different age groups.
There’s also not much difference when it comes to gender. Pew says 20 percent of female smartphone owners check-in, compared to 17 percent of males.
Aside from check-in services, Pew’s research found that Americans in general — and smartphone owners, particularly — are increasingly using their phones to get location-based information such as local recommendations and directions. Pew says 74 percent of smartphone owners, and 41 percent of all adults, use their phones for location-based info — up from 55 percent and 23 percent, respectively, last year.
* Gowalla, which Facebook bought last year, shut down in March, after the Pew survey was completed.