There is a growing demand for location-based mobile services worldwide, with the likes of check-ins and mobile maps being the most demanded features for technology on the move, according to new research. The ‘Mobile Life‘ report from TNS, concludes that almost two-thirds of mobile users that don’t have location-based features would like to start using the feature, showing that there is huge untapped potential these services.
Watch a video outlining the results here:
The TNS survey — which gauges the interests and activity of 48,000 mobile users from across 58 countries worldwide — found that, while 62 percent of phone owners want location services, 19 percent already use the feature and associated services.
GPS is the main driver of interest for those that don’t currently have location services, having been cited by half of those without it, ahead of finding friends (22 percent), locating venues (26 percent), checking public transport (19 percent) and ‘checking in’ to social networks (13 percent).
TNS saw the latter category grow the most since last year’s study, with interest in location-based social networks rising by 50 percent on 2011′s data.
Furthermore, and of equal interest, is a growing level of understanding that certain location services will provide benefit to consumers. TNS saw 12.5 percent of users admit they are prepared to share their location for a deal, while 21 percent are open to being served location-based adverts.
James Fergusson global head of the TNS digital and technology practice, said: “We are really starting to see location-based services ‘come of age’,” Fergusson explains. “People are realising that sharing their location often offers some kind of reward in terms of a discount or deal. It is the combination of time and context – directing people towards a deal when they can easily redeem it – that unlocks a powerful tool for marketers to develop precise targeting approaches.”
Fergusson cautions that demand for location differs from market to market, requiring a unique approach “in line with how people in individual markets want to engage with brands to avoid being intrusive”, he explains.
Demand differs across territories
In Latin America, a friend locator was cited as the top reason to adopt location services (by 39 percent of users), which is well ahead of India (11 percent), North America (9 percent) and Europe (20 percent), each of which favours other reasons higher.
Location may not strike us as being a must have feature but when you consider that a number of modern services are already available for basic devices in some degree, it is clear that it is one of the few services wholly reserved for smartphones and high-end devices.
An overview of the key findings, and the full report itself, can be found at the ‘Mobile Life” microsite here.