Research Snapshots

How is the mobile Internet different?

Dr Sang-pil Han, Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Systems, has been exploring how Internet browsing behaviour varies between mobile phones and personal computers. Working with colleagues from the United States and Canada, he has discovered that smaller screen sizes on mobiles increase browsing costs. In addition, a wider range of offline locations for mobile Internet usage suggests that local activities are particularly important. Working with data on user behaviour at a Twitter-like microblogging service, the team has exploited variation in the ranking mechanism of posts to identify ranking effects. They have shown that ranking effects are higher on mobiles so that links at the top of mobile screens are more likely to be clicked. They also conclude that stores located in close proximity to a user's home are much more likely to be clicked. So, the mobile Internet is somewhat less "Internet-like": search costs are higher and distance matters more.

View Sang-pil's talk:

Read more: Ghose, Anindya, Sang-pil Han, and Avi Goldfarb. "How is the Mobile Internet Different? Search Costs and Local Activities." Information Systems Research 24.3 (2013): 613-631. Print.