If Great Britain is any indication of how geo-social platforms are catching on with Western teens, Foursquare and Facebook Places have some major branding to do.
Only 52 percent of 11-to-18-year-olds in the U.K. have heard of either Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla, or Scvngr, according to a new study by youth marketing agency Dubit. And 58 percent who were aware of the services said they didn't see any value in using them.
Dubit surveyed 1,000 adolescents, balancing gender and age in the participant pool. Peter Robinson, head of research at Dubit, Leeds, U.K., told ClickZ that geo-social in Great Britain was likely less popular among older adolescents than it is in the U.S, where marketers appear to be driving awareness.
"The greatest barrier to uptake is that teens in the U.K. don't see the point and that's an area," Robinson said. "With regards to awareness, it is no secret that Foursquare, and to a lesser extent Facebook, has found greater penetration in America than the U.K.; so we would assume that these services would be picked up by a higher percentage of U.S. teens."
Other takeaways from the research, which was conducted in April:
- Forty-four percent were aware of Facebook Places, while 27 percent had heard of Foursquare.
- For kids who are aware of the services, 30 percent use Facebook Places and 5 percent utilize Foursquare.
- Forty-eight percent of those using the services listed fun as the main reason, and 45 percent said they like friends to know where they are.
- Only 14 percent stated special offers from brands as a usage reason.
- Forty-five percent of the adolescents think location-based services are unsafe.
- Gowalla (1 percent) and Scvngr (less than 1 percent) hardly showed up in the results.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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