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This is how you get out of a sticky situation: less addictive ...

World

This is how you get out of a sticky situation: less addictive apps

New trend as internet services such as Wordle and BeReal ditch the dopamine model that made trillions for Big Tech

Parmy Olson

How did Facebook become a business worth $1-trillion at one point last year? Not just by fulfilling its mission of “connecting people”, but by keeping them hooked on the site, sometimes for hours on end.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have spent years perfecting the art of building habit-forming products, whether through the social affirmation of “likes”, the allure of a never-ending newsfeed or the way YouTube hits your dopamine receptors each time it recommends a new video.

Guillaume Chaslot, an engineer who left Google in 2013 after helping design YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, remembers being told to program it to encourage larger amounts of time spent by people on the site. “When you optimise for time spent, then you optimise for addiction,” he says. “At the time, I did not even realise that.”..

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