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Research: Americans Spending A Lot of Time on Social Networks, But Still Not Checking In

A Nielsen report shows that people are spending 23 percent of their time online cruising social networks. Facebook is the most popular networking site by far (140 million+ unique visitors in May, three times the network in the second spot), followed by Blogger, Twitter, then WordPress.

The report also shows that the average visitor is female and between the ages of 18 and 34.

Despite all of this online activity, the public is still a little slow to catch on to location-based services.

SocialTimes, reporting on a Pew Internet study released last week, writes that only 12 percent of adults with a smartphone are using it to check-in on services like Foursquare or Gowalla. However, 28 percent of all phone users and 55 percent of smartphone owners are using their phones for directions or recommendations based on their location.

Way back in November 2010 (which is way back in Internet years), we wrote about a Pew study that called location-based service users (Foursquare and the like) “early adopters.” Interestingly, it sounds like these users still fall in the early adopter category.

But anecdotally, we’ve seen people talk about the discoveries they’ve made using Foursquare. So co-founder Naveen Selvadurai’s idea of growth through information sharing may indeed be panning out slowly but surely. Things move quickly in the social media world, but people still need to catch up.

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