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Data: Location-Based Nets Still Too Niche

Inundated by location-based questions from marketers, Forrester conducted a little research and found that just 1% of U.S. online adults are actually using LBSNs weekly, while 4% of them have tried them at least once. "The sample size of this 1% of adults who use LBSNs regularly is small, so our findings on their behaviors is directional only, but our research shows that these users are typically young, male, well-educated, and influential," explains Forrester analyst Melissa Parrish.

Highly influential individuals, LBSN users are 38% more likely than the average US online adult to say that friends and family ask their opinions before making a purchase decision. As such, Forrester isn't surprised that marketers are so interested in LBSNs and their users. But is it time for other marketers to start jumping on this bandwagon? "We don't think so," says Parrish. "Though many LBSNs are gathering steam, the landscape is fragmented and the programs can't scale just yet." However, as larger players enter the market -- like Facebook and Yahoo -- the time for marketers invest could be coming soon.

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