Sure, Foursquare’s slow growth continues, but it no longer has the momentum that it did six months ago. It was replaced briefly by Chatroulette as thing of the moment, and the last few months have been driven mainly by Apple’s
Even last week’s Geo-Loco 2010 was rather subdued, with much less LBS theory and future thought flying around than a few months back at Where 2.0. More of a focus on brand studies this time around. It’s telling that the biggest story coming out of the event was Fred Wilson’s faux-controversial “Apple is evil” remarks.
The truth is that only 4 percent of U.S. adults use location-based services, according to Forrester. For the amount of attention location-based services get in the tech world, 84 percent of U.S. online adults are not even familiar with such applications.
Only 1 percent use location-based applications more than once a week.
This data in mind, Forrester believes that this sector is not yet ready for marketers.
“Location-based social networks (LBSNs), such as foursquare and Brightkite, offer interactive marketers the promise of right-time, right-place marketing by connecting people and nearby points of sale with geotargeted media,” writes Forrester analyst Melissa Parish.
Right now, the audience is primarily male (80 percent), 19-35 (70 percent), college educated or higher (70 percent) and consider themselves influencers (38 percent).
“The market is quite nascent, with only a few million consumers using geolocation apps monthly. Marketers need to know what audiences can be reached with these services, which companies — if any — are ready for prime time, and whether LBSNs align with business objectives,” Parish writes.
“Forrester recommends that bold, male-targeted marketers start testing but that most marketers should wait until they can get a bigger bang for their buck, when adoption rates increase and established players emerge from the fray,” Parrish writes.