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Why Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are so Successful

By February 13, 2014March 18th, 2014user behavior

Ok, let’s be honest. Most of us use social media at least once a day. Many of us use it a few times every hour even! Did you know you didn’t have much of a chance resisting apps like Facebook, Pinterest and others once you started using them? It wasn’t your fault though. You didn’t know that an actual addiction was developing. Yeah, you heard that correctly, an addiction!

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Why Are You Addicted to Social Media?

Whether intentionally designed or not, many social media apps actually cause an habitual addiction to occur. These apps are habit forming in our brains. They use external triggers like an email, a “Like”, or new followers to trigger an internal response or an actions from us. That action has a reward of some type for us internally which creates a greater commitment to it. These rewards cause actual chemical reactions in our brain which affect our response to them. Over time, as more and more rewards occur, we habitually begin looking for those external responses and start checking those apps or interacting with them in order to receive the reward. Very “Pavlovian” in it’s design, we press the bar, we get a treat.

Now, its obviously not like a drug that you can’t escape, but you begin questioning how you could ever live without that app. How could you ever do business without it? How could you ever keep up with you friends? These apps are habit forming over time. If you are checking these apps daily, challenge yourself to go a full week without even peeking to see if you don’t go a little crazy wanting to check in. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it that long myself.

John Paul Mains

John Paul Mains is the Chief Marketing Scientist at Click Laboratory. He loves all things digital, but especially SEO and analytics. If you're interested in learning more, his LinkedIn profile is

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