12% of Smartphone Users ‘Get’ Geo-Social

A Pew Internet Project report released today represents at least a modest victory for Foursquare and similar services, finding that 12 percent of smartphone users are checking in via location-based apps. The research firm polled 688 smartphone users in May to arrive at the statistic, which, according to Pew, was up from the 7 percent of online users who said during the same month last year that they used location-based services.

In its report, Pew notes that it used the term “geo-social” for the first time in its questioning.

And according to the study, check-in services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt are most popular with adults below the age of 50, minorities, and people making less than $75,000.

Here are other major takeaways from the smartphone-based research:

– 92 percent of smartphone owners use their device for text messaging

– 76 percent employ their smartphones to check email

– 59 percent of smartphone owners utilize their device to access social networking sites

– 15 percent use their phone to access Twitter