LONDON: Consumers in the UK are increasingly using mobile phones to access geo-location tools and social networks, new figures show.

Kinetic Worldwide, the insights provider, surveyed over 500 adults across the UK, and reported that half of participants have already utilised location-based services (LBS) on their mobile phone.

Elsewhere, 43% of respondents expected to make greater use of such platforms in the future, including 48% doing so to meet people, and 26% uploading recommendations and looking for places to visit.

Over the panel as a whole, 44% of those questioned anticipated accessing promotional offers based on their current whereabouts via this route.

Exactly 20% of interviewees described relevant mobile phone advertising distributed in the same manner as "acceptable", reaching 50% among 35-44 year olds.

Another 45% had previously employed socially-driven LBS while engaging in out-of-home activities. Facebook Places, still operating when the poll was conducted but latterly closed down, logged the highest levels of awareness, on 67%.

Google's Latitude took second position in terms of recognition on 39%, ahead of Twitter Places on 24%, Foursquare with 23%, the 5% posted by Doppr and Gowalla, and Looptmix's 2%.

"Far from being a static home-based form of communications, social media will increasingly influence choices and behaviour in out of home environments," said Nick Mawditt, global director of insight and marketing at Kinetic Worldwide.

More broadly, 50% of Twitter users accessed the microblog on their mobile phone, a total standing at 41% for Facebook and 26% for LinkedIn.

Some 62% of tablet owners also deploy this appliance while travelling or commuting. Kinetic found 6% of UK consumers now possess such a device, up by 50% since May, and hitting 13% for 25-34 year olds.

An additional 14% of shoppers are thinking about buying one of these gadgets. Precisely 75% of this group are actively considering Apple's iPad, with Samsung's Galaxy Tab on 50% and the BlackBerry Playbook on 30%.

In further demonstration of the rising power of wireless devices, 85% of 25-34 year olds regard them as more important to their lifestyles than PCs or laptops, the study added.

Data sourced from Kinetic Worldwide; additional content by Warc staff