Social media has been defined by what happens on people’s
computer screens. But what happens when people turn off their
computers and take social media to the real, physical world? Now,
with recent advancements in mobile technology, early adopters
build communities around the concept of ‘check-ins’. They
broadcast their location to friends, learn about other people’s
whereabouts, and share location-based information about bars,
parks, cities, and virtually any kind of location. We present a
study of 63 early adopters who use location-based social networks
in their daily lives and analyze their behavior with respect to the
impact on local businesses as well as service providers. Our
results show that users derive real value from connecting
information to location and indicate significant potential for
customer-to-customer marketing. Further, our findings provide
support for claims to include privacy and context-related
constructs into technology acceptance theory.