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Two-Sided Dopamine Hook Of Social Networks

Social networks operate on a two-fold strategy: they engage users as content consumers while also enticing them to become active content creators.
Two-Sided Dopamine Hook Of Social Networks
Photo by Trophy Technology / Unsplash

I'm not sure if it was done intentionally or by chance, as a drawback of the recommendation algorithm design. It looks like guys at Twitter invented a new level of dopamine hook for its users that keeps them engaged and, what's even more important, keeps them posting.

There is a well-known hook that keeps you engaged. It's just a media feed as it is. No one knows what would be the next post in the feed. Although it's optimized to be as interesting for you as possible, it's still rather random.

Your brain is always curious to know what will be next. Once the feed brings something interesting you get excited by the dopamine release spike. That's how you get hooked.

Twitter has a second side of the dopamine hook which is also incredibly addictive. When you post something, you never know how far the publication would take off. I would not be surprised if random posts get boosted additionally.

It allows Twitter to keep you engaged not only when you consume the content, but also when you create the content.