Love Unshackled: Identifying the Effect of Mobile App Adoption in Online Dating

41 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2018 Last revised: 24 Apr 2018

See all articles by JaeHwuen Jung

JaeHwuen Jung

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management

Ravi Bapna

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

Jui Ramaprasad

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management

Akhmed Umyarov

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

Date Written: March 26, 2018

Abstract

The proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices has led to numerous companies investing significant resources in developing mobile applications, in every imaginable domain. As apps proliferate, understanding the impact of app adoption on key outcomes of interest and linking this understanding to the underlying mechanisms that drive these results is imperative. In this paper, we explore the changes in user behavior induced by adoption of a mobile application, in terms of engagement and matching outcomes in the online dating context. We also identify three mechanisms that are somewhat unique to the mobile environment, but are hitherto unestablished in the literature, that drive this shift in behavior – ubiquity, impulsivity and disinhibition. Our main identification strategy uses propensity score matching combined with difference-in-differences, coupled with a rigorous falsification test to confirm the validity of our identification strategy. Our results demonstrate that mobile app adoption induces users to become more socially engaged as measured by key engagement metrics such as visiting significantly more profiles, sending significantly more messages, and importantly, achieving more matches. We also discover various mechanisms facilitating this increased engagement: ubiquity of mobile use – users login more, and login across wider range of hours in the day. We find that men act more impulsively, in that they are less likely to check the profile of a user who messaged them before replying to them. This effect is not visible for women who continue to be deliberate in their checking before replying even after adoption of the mobile app. Finally, we find that both men and women exhibit disinhibition, in that users initiate actions to a more diverse set of potential partners than they did before on dimensions of race, education and height.

Keywords: mobile applications, online dating, social engagement, adoption, ubiquity, impulsiveness, disinhibition

Suggested Citation

Jung, JaeHwuen and Bapna, Ravi and Ramaprasad, Jui and Umyarov, Akhmed, Love Unshackled: Identifying the Effect of Mobile App Adoption in Online Dating (March 26, 2018). MIS Quarterly, Forthcoming; Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 18-015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3149831

JaeHwuen Jung (Contact Author)

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Ravi Bapna

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis ( email )

321 19th Ave S
Information and Decision Sciences
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Jui Ramaprasad

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management

1001 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec H4A 1G5
Canada

Akhmed Umyarov

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis ( email )

321 19th Ave S
IDSC at Carlson School of Management
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
270
rank
109,318
Abstract Views
865
PlumX Metrics