Forrester Research today said 6 percent of U.S. web viewers currently use a location-based app, up from 2 percent a year ago. The report came one day after Foursquare stated it's crossed the 15-million-user threshold, which coincidentally - like the Forrester stat - represents a 3X growth year over year.
Indeed, while progress in the space is evident, geo-social platforms have plenty of work to do before they achieve scale.
At the same time, says Forrester, word about the platforms is spreading in the U.S. In 2010, only 16 percent of online adults were familiar with names like Foursquare, Loopt, Scvngr, Gowalla, etc. That same data-point is up to 30 percent for 2011, according to Forrester.
Despite such modest consumer activity, major players like Facebook and Google don't appear to be shying away from the geo-social space. On Monday, Facebook purchased Gowalla and plans to utilize the latter brand's app-based technology expertise while shutting down the service. And TechCrunch reported today that Google+ mobile app may soon include check-ins where merchants can offer deals - much like what Foursquare has been offering for well over a year.
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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.