Source: TechCrunch, May 2012
Ask a devoted Facebook user why they log-in to the site several times per day and they’ll describe features they love and provide examples of how they use the service. They’ll tell you it’s a great way to share photos or keep up with their friends.
But below the surface is the need for emotional gratification. Though we can all shift our emotional states ourselves, it’s not easy. Instead of going through the hard work of consciously changing the way we feel, we use ready-made solutions to do it for us.
Cued By Frequent Feelings
The most successful consumer web companies cater to our most basic and powerful emotions. People may feel emotions differently, but we all feel the same spectrum in varying degrees. The most valuable services create internal triggers in the user, activating desire to use the site whenever experiencing a particular sensation. These cues prompt users to come back to the site unaided by external messages. The site becomes the default solution to satiate their emotional needs.
With Facebook, it’s often loneliness that cues a visit to the site. Twitter is cued when the user fears being out of the loop about what’s happening. Pinterest users feel the urge to capture and collect visual scraps of the web, worried they’ll lose the image lest they pin it.