According to this survey 62 percent of consumers have heard of location-based services (LBS) and 30% are familiar with it.
24% of consumers have used a LBS service. Higher familiarity increases usage of location-based services (LBS) - 89% who are very familiar use LBS versus 72% who are somewhat familiar.
Awareness is highest in the United Kingdom and United States. Familiarity is highest in Japan which has had widespread LBS longer than other countries studied.
Now the question is what does LBS means for these consumers? Very often the meaning is not very clear starting sometimes in the mind of the researchers as we have seen in a recent study from Pew Research center where the meaning of “LBS” was limited to geo-social apps such as Foursquare and Gowalla.
In the case of this study, LBS are “services that determine your location to provide you more information about where you are.”
The top five usages are GPS Navigation (70%), Weather alerts (46%), traffic updates (38%), restaurant info/reviews (38%) and local search (36%) for convenient services (gas, coffee shops, etc). Although the results shows that these usage might be relatively different per country.
The frequency of LBS use is very different per country, 35% of consumers in the US use LBS at least several times per week which is nearly two times higher than most other countries surveyed. Canada is where there is the smallest frequency: only 10% of users use LBS several times a week.
What is really interesting here is that Facebook Places is only a few months old - launched in August in the United States and some weeks later in Europe - but it has already gained a very wide adoption: 50% of U.S. LBS users report using it, with 49% in the UK and 39% in Germany.
In comparison Foursquare’s users are 15% in the US, 7% in the UK, 3% in Canada, 2% in Japan and not showing up in the German sample.