Snapshot: Mobile-Social-Local by the Numbers

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I came upon some interesting numbers on mobile social media worth sharing. Lisa Braziel at ignite social media pulled together data from a number of different studies of late to tell a bit of a story about the recent evolution in mobile-social. Unfortunately, like most research of breadth, it’s a piece of the past and not a realtime reflection. So keep that in mind while digesting.

SNL Kagan looked at location-based services activity between ’09 and ’10, finding that usership almost tripled. Braziel concluded this, in addition to other data points, indicate 2011 could be the year of mobile social — where it goes truly mainstream. Take a look at the graphic from eMarketer

If you’re still reading, it means you likely already know many of the next data points – at least in broad strokes – but they are worth retelling. Again, eMarketer does decent legwork in pulling together where people are actually checking in (and later “why)…

(Braziel notes:  “When SNL Kagan ranked the geolocation apps based on registered users, Brightkite was the largest application with 5.9 million users, followed by Loopt at 4.0 million users and foursquare reporting at 3.6 million registered users. At the time of this study, Facebook Places was not taken into account and since then Brightkite has removed its “Check-In” functionality.”)

This is far from comprehensive, of course, and just a snapshot in time (and unfortunately a time NOT all too recent) but it does paint a decent picture — particularly for the novice — of what each of the services is primarily being used for.

In yet another study from JiWire from last fall, the company found that the most valuable aspect of “checking in” was deals. Not too far behind, however, was “sharing my

location,” and this is relevant because some reports lately called into question whether people want to share their locale at all. Surely this is not proof of the contrary but it is an interesting data point.

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