Slow on so-lo

Slow on so-lo
It’s hard to be socially mobile when there’s nobody around to be social with.

NZ smartphone mobile usersFor years Kiwiland has been known for having more sheep than people. Now we have more cell phones than people – progress indeed.

So just what are we doing with all of these cell phones?

Well, nearly half of us are sneaking smartphones into the bathroom and fitting in a spot of web browsing while on the toilet, according to the IAB Global Mobile Anthology.

In fact, around 25 percent of handsets in New Zealand are of the intelligent variety, and that number is growing. Of those, Nokia is still the top brand, followed by Apple (whose users are by far the most brand loyal).

One thing we’re not particularly enamoured with is location-based services. Another study by TNS shows less than 10 percent of us use services like Foursquare or Facebook Places on a daily basis, though plenty more say they’re interested in doing so.

So-lo-mo (social-local-mobile) was hot at this year’s SXSW, with apps like Glancee, Highlight and Banjo that use your interests to connect you with other like minds in the same neighbourhood getting play.

It’s hard to be socially mobile, though, when there’s nobody around to be social with. Even with a few years and 20 million registered users behind it, Foursquare hasn’t gained much in the way of critical mass here, though its recent revamp just might give it a shot in the arm.

Of course, location has been touted as the next big thing for a few years now. Perhaps if we say it enough times eventually we’ll strike gold?

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).