Even though everyone in the tech world has been checking in with Foursquare and Gowalla for what seems like forever, does anyone outside of our bubble know what our darling location applications are, and what they do?

A new report from Forrester should pour some cold water on the massive hype around the supposed mainstream status of Gowalla and Foursquare. To make it plain, this was the question that Forrester put to ‘online adults:’ “To what extent are you familiar with gelocation applications like Foursquare and Gowalla that you can access on a mobile phone?”

84% of the respondents said “I am not familiar with such applications.” Only 1% of respondents claimed to use them more than once a week, and only a total of 4% said that they used the applications at all, ever. The remaining 12% have heard of the applications, but do not use them.

What is mainstream? It can’t be a 1% dedicated audience. Whatever the future, Foursquare and its competitors have to grow like mad for a long time to gain real market penetration.

How many of your friends would you have to see check-in to your lunch spot along with you before you would say that location has truly made it?