Turns Out, Most People Really Don’t Want To Share Their Location

Greg Sterling has a good post about “lifecasting.” Or, really, about how lifecasting was such a huge industry push several years ago and has now changed. Recent findings from the Pew Internet Project highlight our cultural collective belief around “privacy” today:

60% of us keep our social media sites set to private and 19% of us keep them partially private.

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The friend finder apps and tools are what have largely been affected by this desire. Brightkite has folded and Foursquare has shifted some of their strategies. The shift is in mass market focus versus non-mass market because, make no mistake, there’s a role for services like this when communities develop. Greg articulates this well:

SXSW is a unique environment where people are gathered in a temporary community around music, film and technology. College campuses and sporting events are similar in that there’s a shared identity and sense of community. In these contexts friend finder apps make more sense and can work. However outside of these and a few other contexts most people aren’t interested in telling strangers and acquaintances where they are and where they’re going.

Among online adults only 5% reported to using location apps at least once a month according to Forrester. Foursquare says it now has roughly 15 million registered users of all ages, with half of them outside the US.

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