How social media networks form habits

tena koe tangata maere,

this weeks paper is a bit unconventional for the newsletter as it is not super technical. It discusses the psychological phenomenas behind the huge success of social media. For me it is super interesting to grasp how we humans function as I feel it is a bit like hacking the human brain…the best (and also most flawed) computer build so far 😀 The paper is an easy read and will give you nice insights about your own behavior and also how optimizing your databases to answer a few ms faster can help form habits.


If platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the engines of social media use, what is the gasoline? The answer can be found in the psychological dynamics behind consumer habit formation and performance. In fact, the financial success of different social media sites is closely tied to the daily-use habits they create among users. We explain how the rewards of social media sites motivate user habit formation, how social media design provides cues that automatically activate habits and nudge continued use, and how strong habits hinder quitting social media. Demonstrating that use habits are tied to cues, we report a novel test of a 2008 change in Facebook design, showing that it impeded posting only of frequent, habitual users, suggesting that the change disrupted habit automaticity. Finally, we offer predictions about the future of social media sites, highlighting the features most likely to promote user habits

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