Sobering news for those pinning their hopes on the next generation embracing check-in based travel services after a study found 48% of 11 to 18 year olds are unaware of such tools.
The study by youth marketing agency Dubit (which presumably has a vested interest in demonstrating how tech-savvy youngsters are) made the perhaps surprising discovery when it asked 1,000 British teenagers about services such as Facebook Places, Foursquare, Gowalla et al.
Of the remaining half that had heard of the ability to “check-in” to locations via web-enabled mobiles, 58% then said they didn’t bother because they “do not see the point”.
Around half again (45%) said they felt check-in tools were “unsafe”.
Facebook Places came out on top as the most popular service among those who heard of check-in tools, grabbing 44%, compared to 27% plugging for Foursquare. US-centric Gowalla and SCVNGR hit 3% and 2%.
Dubit head of research, Peter Robinson, told BrandRepublic:
“Perhaps when Facebookâ€™s Deals product gains momentum it will change things, and young people may be driven by discounts, but at the moment the brands who are using these platforms, and the platform owners, need to be telling teens why they should be using them and how they can do so safely.”
The Dubit study emerged the same week as US-based ComScore found one in five smartphone users had checked in to a location in March 2011.
ComScore data revealed 16.7 million US mobile subscribers used location-based check-in services on their phones, representing 7.1 percent of the entire mobile population, while 12.7 million check-in users did so on a smartphone, representing 17.6 percent of the smartphone population in the US.
The split between between male and female users was almost equal, the data shows, with 49.2% and 50.8% checking in respectively.
In terms of age ranges using smartphones to check-in:
- 13 to 17 – 8.3%
- 18 to 24 – 26%
- 25 to 34 – 32.5%
- 35 to 44 – 18.7%
- 45 to 54 – 9.7%
- 55 to 64 – 3%
- 65+ – 1.7%
ComScore VP of mobile, Mark Donovan, says:
“Although still in their relative infancy, location-based mobile check-in services are seeing rather impressive adoption among smartphone users.
“The ability to interact with consumers on this micro-local level through special offers, deals and other incentives provides brands with the real-time opportunity to engage consumers through their mobile device.”
But what else are check-in service users doing with their smartphones?
- Accessing restaurant information – 45.9%
- Accessing news – 40.3%
- Accessing online retail – 32.6%
- Accessing shopping guides – 25%
- Accessed travel services – 22%
Meanwhile, good news for advertisers, with 38.7% recalling mobile or app-hosted marketing messages.