In my previous post  I introduced the Hooked system and made the first Case Study on Facebook.

To recap the Hooked system consists of:

Trigger -> Action -> Investment -> Reward -> Trigger -> …

About to get Hooked

Today we look at Twitter.


  • You are mentioned in a tweet
  • Your tweet is retweeted or liked
  • A topic is trending within your network so you receive an email
  • You have some notifications, email comes saying you have notifications without telling what they are
  • Email comes with the few most popular tweets in your network

Being a social app these triggers work really well because they are from people you follow and are interested in.


Actions are the tasks easiest and most obvious to do in any app. They just get your feet wet.

The obvious suspects
  • Retweet
  • Like a tweet
  • Comment


Investments are the harder things, they require more thought but at the same time personalize the app for you.

  • Write a tweet
  • Find and follow people you’re interested in
  • Create lists
  • Create moments


The Twitter rewards

Rewards come in two major forms on Twitter: Reputation and Data.


  • Number of Likes
  • Number of Retweets
  • Number of Followers
  • Number of Comments


Rewards in the form of Data are the tweets themselves. When scrolling through the feed you mostly see tweets from people and subjects you are interested in. What makes this a great reward is that you never know what you’re going to find. It is unpredictable because it’s all generated from the people.


Knowing the principles at work will help you understand how you’re getting hooked on new apps. You can use this knowledge to build your own apps (ethically). Or you can use this knowledge to distance yourself from these habit forming apps and take back control of your life. The easiest thing to do is cancel all Twitter emails and phone notifications. Then you get to choose when you use it, not they.

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