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Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Wayne Ariola, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg

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Location Sharing: Millennials No Longer the Only Ones Sharing their Whereabouts

Alohar Mobile Survey Finds 71% of Smartphone Users are Open to Location Sharing Apps; Adoption Driven by Relationship Milestones, Safety and Convenience

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Alohar Mobile, developer of PlaceUs, a free app that brings together trusted loved ones with context-awareness and location-based technology, today announced the results of its new Digital Milestones: Location Sharing survey in which 71% of smartphone users expressed their openness to mobile applications designed to share their whereabouts with loved ones. Key drivers include safety and convenience along with the trust that comes with certain relationship milestones.  

An infographic with complete findings can be downloaded at:

Relationship Milestones

The study found smartphone users are comfortable sharing their whereabouts with those they're in a trusting relationship with, as long as they can opt in/out or control who sees what and when. While 66% of 18-29 year-olds express comfort with location sharing, older generations appear to be slightly more accepting with 73% of 30-60 year-olds and 74% of those over 60 reporting their comfort with location sharing.

The survey also suggests relationship milestones are key drivers in the growing adoption of location sharing. When asked which relationships were deemed most applicable to share one's locale, 60% ranked those between parents and children.

Top five relationships conducive to location sharing:

  • #1: Parent to child
  • #2: Adult son or daughter to elderly parent
  • #3: Spouse to spouse
  • #4: Significant other to significant other
  • #5: Best friend to best friend

When asked at what point in a relationship they'd be comfortable discussing sharing whereabouts with a partner, 66% believe after engagement or marriage is appropriate while 31% reported being in a committed relationship would suffice.

"We were very heartened by the results of our Digital Milestones: Location Sharing survey, which showed adults are suddenly just as open to location sharing apps as their younger counterparts," said Sam Liang, CEO and founder of Alohar Mobile. "Whether they are entering new relationship milestones—i.e.,  recently married, sending a child off to college, or caring for aging parents—or simply concerned about safety and convenience, their attitudes towards location sharing have come a long way."

Finding Peace of Mind

Safety and convenience also play significant roles with 68% admitting there are times when they feel safer with a loved one knowing where they are and another 68% reporting they feel uneasy when a family member or loved one forgets to text or call and check in as planned. A little more than half of those who participated in the survey admit it can be difficult to keep in touch with the people they love and care about most despite the availability of social sharing networks such as Facebook.

Trust is Critical for Sharing

Another major milestone in securing one's comfort level in location sharing is establishing trust between contacts as well as with the specific social sharing network. While 80% would share their whereabouts with a trusted loved one at any time, 89% report they will sometimes withhold the sharing of certain information on such social networks as Facebook and Twitter due to low confidence in the network's ability to safeguard that information.

Control is also a key driver with 91% defining privacy as having control over who's allowed access to certain information about oneself vs. keeping all information about oneself completely hidden from everyone. But, even checking on one's location without their knowledge isn't considered a large breach of privacy as long as trust is in place: only 13% would feel violated or angered by it.

522 Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile device users, 18 years-old and older, participated in the Alohar Digital Milestones: Location Sharing Survey conducted online during June, 2014.

About Alohar Mobile

Alohar Mobile develops context-aware and location-based applications for smartphones that help users be more in touch with people, the world, and themselves. PlaceUs, the company's flagship app, learns from a user's mobile routines to anticipate and assist with many of the daily interactions that occur between trusted loved ones while consuming very little battery power. Funded in part by Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson and "Professor Billionaire" David Cheriton of Stanford University, Alohar is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

SOURCE Alohar Mobile

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