Mobile Application Adoption by Young Adults: A Social Network Perspective

David G. Taylor, Troy A. Voelker and Iryna Pentina

Abstract:

The use of mobile applications, defined as small programs that run on a mobile device and perform tasks ranging from banking to gaming and web browsing, is exploding. Within the past two years, the industry has grown from essentially nothing to a $2 billion marketplace, but adoption rates are still on the rise. Using network theory, this study examines how the adoption of mobile apps among young consumers is influenced by others in their social network. The results suggest that the likelihood of adoption and usage of mobile apps increases with their use by the consumer's strongest relationship partner. In addition, the authors find marginal support for the hypothesis that the adoption of mobile apps will be more strongly influenced by a consumer's social contacts (friends, compared to family members), possibly due to their closer similarity to the consumer. Managerial and theoretical implications are discussed.

Introduction