There are over 40 million social media users in the UK. We now live in a completely digital era and tons of media platforms compete for our attention every day. Companies have to master different tactics to stay at the top of user’s minds, or otherwise they risk becoming irrelevant. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media platforms have successfully hooked the country – but how have they done it? What makes these sites so addictive?

 Person Using Smartphone

Forming strong user habits is not an easy thing to do; however, once it’s achieved, a platform can generate reoccurring users for a long period of time. These sites create internal triggers in people’s minds – so if someone is feeling bored, they’ll automatically think ‘I’m going to check my Facebook’. If someone wants to know what’s happening in the world – they’ll automatically think to check their Twitter feed. These platforms create solutions to the everyday problems people face.

 

In order to create connections in people’s minds, they must manufacture desire. An Instagram engineer says social networking sites are also addictive because of something called ‘the networking effect’. Here are some of the things that get people hooked…

 

Notifications. Most social sites use notifications. This can show who is interacting with someone, which acts as a mechanism to draw people in. People feel like they need to check their notifications, which gets them on the app.

 

Algorithmic filtering. This is effective as sites are able to tweak their algorithms regularly and monitor people’s responses to the change. This then enables these platforms to make changes based on what their users are responding to. For example, if Instagram notices you are interacting with a certain account a lot, they’ll boost their posts to the top of your feed to keep you interested. If someone’s posts who you aren’t very interested in keeps popping up, you may lose interest over time.

 Person Holding Iphone Showing Social Networks Folder

Continuous scroll. Companies like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow you to scroll for years if you wanted to! Your news feed is designed to automatically load content that you’d find interesting (which social media sites learn from algorithms). This is why some people find themselves scrolling for hours! Are you one of them?

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Although social media can be a great thing which can link similar people together, reunite people and act as a bottomless pit of knowledge on almost any topic, it can also have a negative impact. As I’m sure you’re aware, people become obsessed with it! It’s best to stay aware of your social media usage to make sure you aren’t wasting too much time scrolling!

 

With over 1.6 billion independently verified impressions on our owned media alone, you could say Pet Subjects know a fair bit about social media! If you feel that you need help with your own social media strategy, then we’re always up for a chat on 01276 858 880, or you can email louise@petsubjects.co.uk for more information.

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