Location-Based Social Networks to Generate $3.3 Billion in 2013

According to a new report released to day by ABI Research today, location-based social networks will generate a whopping $3.3 billion in revenue by 2013. This comes from companies like GyPSii, Pelago and Loopt a few of the new location-based offerings that are now also available on the iPhone. While the report didn’t say it, the iPhone is a likely catalyst for the growth.

As Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider points out, “It’s hard to put much weight in pie-in-the-sky predictions like this: It’s one thing to take an existing market and plot out a growth chart. But right now the industry is a goose egg, give or take a couple million.” I decided to have a little fun and plotted out what that growth chart would look like below.

As you can see much of the absolute growth comes in 2011, 2012 and 2013. We were able to generate this chart by looking into our crystal ball which has in the past been extremely efficient at generating accurate predictions. While this chart could change in the next 6 to 12 months we figured that this is good enough guidance to include in your upcoming business plan for a location-based social network.

In all honesty though, there is a lot of potential for location-based social networks. The theory is that users of the networks can get extremely targeted local ads. This idea has been around for years but thanks to new advances in mobile technologies (within the U.S.) the ability to create locally targeted advertisements is now a reality.

It still remains to be a test of time to see if these ideas will be put into practice. These “pie-in-the-sky” predictions resemble forecasts of socially relevant advertising technology generated over the past couple years. While the technology that increases conversions based on social relevance has yet to be developed (as far as we know), it’s still possible to make ridiculous predictions of the future.

Do you think location-based social networks will meet the breathtaking forecasts generated by this study?