Learning from Your Friends’ Check-Ins: An Empirical Study of Location-Based Social Networks

Information Systems Research, Forthcoming

63 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2017 Last revised: 30 Mar 2018

See all articles by Liangfei Qiu

Liangfei Qiu

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration

Zhan Shi

Arizona State University (ASU)

Andrew B. Whinston

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management

Date Written: November 29, 2017

Abstract

Recently, mobile applications have offered users the option to share their location information with friends. Using data from a major location-based social networking application in China, we estimate an empirical model of restaurant discovery and observational learning. The unique feature of repeat customer visits in the data allows us to examine observational learning in both trials and repeats and separate it from non-informational confounding mechanisms, such as homophily, using a novel test based on the empirical model. The empirical evidence supports a strong observational learning effect. We also find that the moderating role of the geographical locations of users and their friends on the magnitude of observational learning is critical. These findings suggest a nuanced view for local merchants to boost observational learning with the advancement of location-based technology.

Keywords: Observational Learning, Location-Based Service, Social Networks, Homophily, Social Ties

Suggested Citation

Qiu, Liangfei and Shi, Zhan and Whinston, Andrew B., Learning from Your Friends’ Check-Ins: An Empirical Study of Location-Based Social Networks (November 29, 2017). Information Systems Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3079832

Liangfei Qiu (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/qiuliangfei/

Zhan Shi

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Andrew B. Whinston

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management ( email )

CBA 5.202
Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-471-8879 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
174
Abstract Views
798
rank
213,809
PlumX Metrics