MOBILE SEARCH GETS SMUTTY

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Porn has gone mobile. That’s one conclusion of a study done by Maryam Kamvar and Shumeet Baluja of Columbia University in New York. They analysed a random sample of 1m page view requests from mobile phones and PDAs last year, aiming to better understand the behaviour of wireless search users. The result: just under 20% of mobile phone queries were for adult content.

You might think this counterintuitive – the tiny screen is hardly the best viewing platform for porn, and in any case searches are much more expensive than PC-based internet. The authors have the answer: privacy. “We speculate that people may feel more comfortable querying adult terms on private devices. Anecdotally, we have observed that users often consider their cell phone as a very personal and private device …”
PDA users aren’t so active in adult searches (5%), which makes sense: more teenage boys own a phone, more PDAs gets used for business functions. PDA users were most likely to search for local services.
Entertainment came second with under 10% of all queries by mobile users and under 5% of queries from PDA users.