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How Social Networking Drives Location-based Service Adoption

Social networking will continue to drive the adoption of location-based services and should be considered a part of any location-based marketing campaign. With Facebook accounting for one out of every four page views on the web in the United States, people are spending a lot of time networking.

Part of what makes social experiences richer with friends and family is not just knowing “what” they’re doing but “where” they’re doing it. Location-based services go a long way toward facilitating the “where.”

comScore’s demographics of U.S adult mobile users who accessed check-in services in March, 20
Credit: Courtesy of eMarketer, Inc.
comScore’s demographics of U.S adult mobile users who accessed check-in services in March, 2011.

From a personal perspective, many people using location-based services today do so because of the gaming factor — earning badges and winning prizes. Others do so to gain social credibility by letting their friends know that they’re at a concert, cool bar, or trendy restaurant.

Looking at the power of social networking from a business perspective, they’re equally if not more so motivated to have their customers not only checking in to their physical locations, but also sharing these check-ins with their social networks.

The force that drives social networking is the social graph. A social graph consists of everyone that someone is connected to online: friends, family, former classmates, co-workers, and neighbors.

Services like Facebook and Twitter keep this collection of connections centralized and accessible by other applications. When a user creates a social graph, other applications such as Gowalla or Yelp can grab that social graph, and that information can be easily shared across more networks.

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