美国硅谷的内部人士告诉 BBC



The dominance of Google, Facebook and Amazon is bad for consumers and

  deliberately 故意地

For example, suppose Barbra, a young woman in Pennsylvania, happens to
see a photo in her Facebook newsfeed taken by a family member from a
rural part of the state. It’s a lovely photo, and since she’s planning a
trip there with her brother Johnny, the trigger intrigues her.


The less severe contest


First-to-Mind Wins


If this trend runs its course, consumers will suffer as the tech
industry becomes less vibrant. Less money will go into startups,
most good ideas will be bought up by the titans and, one way or another,
the profits will be captured by the giants.

  habit-forming (活动)易成瘾的



This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under
the headline “Taming the titans”


Habit-forming technology creates associations with “internal triggers,”
which cue users without the need for marketing, messaging, or other
external stimuli.



  Sandy Parakilas, who was a platform operations manager at Facebook
in 2011 and 2012, said there was definitely an awareness that Facebook
was habit-forming when he worked at the company.

I wrote Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products to help others
understand what is at the heart of habit-forming technology. The book
highlights common patterns I observed in my career in the video gaming
and online advertising industries. While my model is generic enough for
a broad explanation of habit formation, I’ll focus on applications in
consumer internet here.


betway88 1

betway88 2图片源于:BBC英语

What separates Hooks from a plain vanilla feedback loop is their ability
to create wanting in the user. Feedback loops are all around us, but
predictable ones don’t create desire. The predictable response of your
fridge light turning on when you open the door doesn’t drive you to keep
opening it again and again. However, add some variability to the
mix — say, a different treat magically appears in your fridge every time
you open it — and voilà, intrigue is created. You’ll be opening that
door like a lab animal in a Skinner box.


Second, trustbusters need to think afresh about how tech markets
A central insight, one increasingly discussed among economists
and regulators, is that personal data are the currency in which
customers actually buy services. Through that prism, the tech titans
receive valuable information—on their users’ behaviour, friends and
purchasing habits—in return for their products. Just as America drew up
sophisticated rules about intellectual property in the 19th century, so
it needs a new set of laws to govern the ownership and exchange of data,
with the aim of giving solid rights to individuals.

  platforms 平台

Creating associations with internal triggers comes from building the
four components of a Hook — a trigger, action, variable reward, and


America’s trustbusters have given tech giants the benefit of the
doubt. They look for consumer harm, which is hard to establish when
prices are falling and services are “free”. The firms themselves stress
that a giant-killing startup is just a click away and that they
could be toppled by a new technology, such as the blockchain. Before
Google and Facebook, Alta Vista and MySpace were the bee’s knees.
Who remembers them?

  lure 诱惑,吸引



NOT long ago, being the boss of a big Western tech firm was a dream job.
As the billions rolled in, so did the plaudits: Google,
Facebook, Amazon and others were making the world a better place. Today
these companies are accused of being BAADD—big, anti-competitive,
addictive and destructive to democracy. Regulators fine them,
politicians grill them and one-time backers warn of their power
to cause harm.


From “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products” by Nir Eyal


What to do? In the past, societies have tackled monopolies either by
breaking them up, as with Standard Oil in 1911, or by regulating them as
a public utility, as with AT&T in 1913. Today both those approaches have
big drawbacks. The traditional tools of utilities regulation, such
as price controls and profit caps, are hard to apply, since most
products are free and would come at a high price in forgone
and innovation. Likewise, a full-scale break-up would
cripple the platforms’ economies of scale, worsening the service
they offer consumers. And even then, in all likelihood one of the
Googlettes or Facebabies would eventually sweep all before it as
the inexorable logic of network effects reasserted itself.