People access the internet increasingly through mobile devices. The ease of using wearable tech and the increased availability of wireless internet has facilitated this. Simultaneously, users have started to spend more time reading social media than traditional media.

Sanoma Media BV is one of the biggest media companies in Europe. In recent years the company has shifted its attention more to digital media, among which the biggest online Dutch news platform, NU.nl. In recent years the number of mobile visitors to Sanoma Media BV websites has increased substantially and nowadays the majority of users access these websites through smartphones and tablets.

One of the important functions of discussion and review websites is to facilitate social interaction in the form of discussions. However, the structure of the discussions and reviews posted on these websites is difficult to render on mobile devices. They can be long, and the highlights (e.g. the best or the most entertaining answers) can be hidden anywhere in the thread. A small screen is a serious hindrance to searching and browsing in this mass of text.

To address this problem a team of researchers from Radboud University, Tilburg University, and Sanoma Media BV will develop a new discussion thread summarizer, which will allow mobile users to quickly digest the key points of a discussion thread as it has developed so far, thereby making it easier for users to contribute. As a result, the threshold for mobile users to participate in online discussions will be significantly lowered, and the general quality and understanding of these discussions may be expected to increase.