Geo-Social Consumers: Inverting Privacy Perimeters by InerpretLLC

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Mobile Interpretation: Geo-Social Consumers: Inverting Privacy Perimeters



Interpret Insight
With major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter set to incorporate geo-location
functionality, geo-social networking is poised to go mainstream.
Yet, surprisingly, today’s geo-social networkers invert the privacy dynamic seen in the majority of
social networkers, demonstrating less willingness to share their basic demographic information, but
they are almost twice as likely to share their home address as the general population.




                       Geo-search                    Geo-social


                             Utility                    Entertainment




                            Individual                     Shared




                           “check out”                   “check in”



                           e.g. Google                      e.g.
                          Maps, Around                   Foursquare,
                                Me                         Gowalla




                                                                                                1


Fig 1

Defining Geo-search Vs. Geo-social Apps
While GPS-enabled smartphones have been in the commercial marketplace for several years, it was
the debut of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 that first popularized geo-located mobile applications. The
ability to integrate location into applications spurred an explosion in services ranging from traffic
navigation to geo-tagging photos to guides to public restrooms. One area of location-based services
receiving a great deal of attention is social networks such as Foursquare and Gowalla. However,
while these geo-social applications share much in common with other geo-located services, they also
differ in significant ways (fig. 1):

         Utility-driven vs. entertainment-driven: While geo-search applications like Google Maps
         and Around Me are utility-driven, geo-social applications are geared more towards
         discovering new entertainment venues like bars and restaurants. Additionally, services like
         Foursquare and Gowalla
								
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