People checking-in less than you’d think, but still motivated by discounts

May 5, 2011
Tech

If you sometimes feel like you’re the only person that hasn’t checked-in somewhere on your phone lately, this study might ease your mind. I see you checking into Starbucks every morning. And don’t think I don’t notice you clogging up my Twitter feed and my Facebook newsfeed with records of your trips to the grocery […]

If you sometimes feel like you’re the only person that hasn’t checked-in somewhere on your phone lately, this study might ease your mind.

I see you checking into Starbucks every morning. And don’t think I don’t notice you clogging up my Twitter feed and my Facebook newsfeed with records of your trips to the grocery store or to pick up some dry cleaning. Sometimes it feels like you’re every single person I know. But if the latest survey from digital agency Beyond is to be believed, you may be more unique that I previously assumed.

The study, which was exclusively shared with Mashable, paints a picture that mobile location-based check-in apps are barely used at all. Could’ve fooled me though!

For starters, people using apps like Foursquare and Facebook Places account for only 17 percent of mobile phone users. So less than 1 in 5 of your friends use Foursquare.

Now, why do those other 83 percent think they’re so much better than you? It appears that roughly half of that large pie is worried about their privacy and the other half just doesn’t have the right sort of phone to play along. That’s too bad!

Actually I’m not sure if that’s “too bad” for those people being deprived of telling me where they’re eating all the time, or “too bad” because it means that when those people upgrade their phones I’m going to be scrolling through a lot more check-ins.

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Unsurprisingly, 54 percent of users who do actively use check-in apps do so for the discount possibilities. I can understand that. While I’ve never wanted to be the mayor of anything in my life, save a brief childhood candidacy vying for title of Mayor McCheese, I absolutely want to save money on everything I am buying.

For those averse to reading, the Mashable story even had some great charts that broke down the numbers into three different subsets.

Speaking of the charts, I’m a bit perplexed that for the non-users, their home ranks as the place they’d most like to check-in. I don’t see how that can possibly correlate to 99 percent of those same non-users noting that badges and mayorships aren’t incentive enough to share their location. Unless these people expect to get coupons to improve their homes by checking-in to them?

I’m also curious about numbers that weren’t noted in the Mashable story. Like the point I was making at the top, I wonder how frequently the average Foursquare user is checking in, and how that compares to a heavy user and a light user?

Perhaps the people that use these sorts of apps are just extremely vocal about it, making it seem like many more of your friends are checking-in when it’s actually just a small handful.

That’s a scary thought if the check-in process ever really catches on. But for now, we’ll just have to look at these numbers and remind ourselves that the check-ins are not as overwhelming as they might appear.

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Right after we grab a coupon for our latest check-in, that is.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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