Nir Eyal writes:
Increasingly, companies will become experts at designing user habits. Curated Web companies already rely on these methods. This new breed of company, defined by the ability to help users find only the content they care about, includes such white-hot companies as Pinterest and Tumblr. These companies have habit formation embedded in their DNA. This is because data collection is at the heart of any Curated Web business and to succeed, they must predict what users will think is most personally relevant.
Curated Web companies can only improve if users tell their systems what they want to see more of. If users use the service sparingly, it is less valuable than if they use it habitually. The more the user engages with a Curated Web company, the more data the company has to tailor and improve the user’s experience. This self-improving feedback loop has the potential to be more useful – and more addictive — than anything we’ve seen before.
Something to think about when you’re not obsessively updating Tumblr and Pinterest.
On Fresh Air, UPenn communications professor Joseph Turow explains how companies are defining your worth online. (via nprfreshair)
Bonus rant: Digital privacy and what is happening to “our” data is something fundamental that we as a society are not paying a shred of the merited attention to — perhaps because we have such limited understanding of what the stakes are.