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Google, Facebook top LBS brands: Microsoft

US: According to a new study sponsored by Microsoft, the most important brands identified with LBS are Google and Facebook. What is really interesting here is that Facebook Places is only a few months old but it has already gained a very wide adoption: 50 per cent of US LBS users report using it, with 49 per cent in the UK and 39 per cent in Germany.

According to the survey, LBS used to locate people have low penetration. 82 percent of people surveyed report not using LBS to disclose their location or to find out more about the location of others. However this is somewhat not completely accurate since 33 per cent of these same people report using Facebook Places.

The study observed that 62 per cent of consumers have heard of location-based services (LBS) and 30 per cent are familiar with it. 24 per cent of consumers have used a LBS service. Higher familiarity increases usage of location-based services (LBS) – 89 per cent who are very familiar use LBS versus 72 per cent who are somewhat familiar.

The study is shedding light over consumer usage of location-based services (LBS) in five countries: US, Canada, UK, Germany and Japan. Awareness is highest in the UK and US. Familiarity is highest in Japan which has had widespread LBS longer than other countries studied.

The study also defines LBS as ‘services that determine users’ location to provide them more information about where they are.’

The top five usages are GPS Navigation (70 per cent), Weather alerts (46 per cent), traffic updates (38 per cent), restaurant info/reviews (38 per cent) and local search (36 per cent) 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.

When it comes to marketing and advertising 18% of the consumers have seen retail ads on their mobile device based on their location. 46% have taken an action such as redeeming the coupon offered, or visited the store based on these ads. In addition 80% consider these advertisements to be very or somewhat valuable.

The research was conducted by Cross-tab Marketing Services on behalf of Microsoft in December 2010 among 1,500 respondents across US, UK, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Source: www.gpsbusinessnews.com