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Tech & Science An internal email shows how Facebook learned of a 'psychological trick' to get teens to try a new product

02:06  11 august  2018
02:06  11 august  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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An internal email shows how Facebook learned of a ' psychological trick ' to get teens to try a new product . The tbh staffers shared how they attracted so many teens to their app — by creating private accounts on Instagram and then following attendees of a particular school.

An internal Facebook memo shows how the company used a “ psychological trick ” that could attract teen users to a new product . “Our team obsessed with finding ways to get individual high schools to adopt a product simultaneously,” they wrote in the memo.

a group of people posing for the camera: Facebook's tbh used a specific ploy to attract teens. Facebook's tbh used a specific ploy to attract teens.

An internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed shows how a group of Facebook staffers became "obsessed" with finding ways to attract high schoolers to a new product - and landed on a "psychological trick" that worked.

The note was put together by executives at tbh, the once-popular viral polling app that was bought and recently shut down by Facebook. It isn't clear when the memo was sent.

Tbh was popular with young people and, according to BuzzFeed, its leadership shared lessons in how it managed to target teen users. Facebook, incidentally, happens to be losing teen users from its main app to Instagram and Snapchat.

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An internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed shows how a group of Facebook staffers became 'obsessed' with finding ways to attract high schoolers The tbh staffers shared how they attracted so many teens to their app — by creating private accounts on Instagram and then following attendees of

An internal Facebook memo shows how the company used a “ psychological trick ” that could An internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed shows how a group of Facebook staffers became “Our team obsessed with finding ways to get individual high schools to adopt a product simultaneously,” they

Even though Facebook shuttered tbh for "low usage," it did provide learnings for Facebook's own polling tools, according to BuzzFeed. And, it appears, it provided a playbook for targeting younger users.

Tbh created private Instagram accounts, then followed teen users to trigger their curiosity

a circuit board: The tbh app. The tbh app.

One reason tbh was so successful in attracting young users to its app, its founders wrote in the memo, was because it used growth hacking-style methods.

Rather than relying on a blowout press campaign, tbh used Instagram to create a sense of mystery. This, they said, was "a novel method."

"Our team obsessed with finding ways to get individual high schools to adopt a product simultaneously," they wrote in the memo. "We designed a novel method that was reproducible, albeit non-scalable."

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your email . A password will be e - mailed to you. As per an internal Facebook document obtained by BuzzFeed News, TBH explained their homegrown and tried -and-tested Mentioned specifically as “ a psychological trick ,” the method involved a combination of “ a combination of scraping Instagram for

Facebook bought TBH last October and eventually shut it down, but an internal note shows that the company learned a way to target high schoolers In the confidential memo, TBH’s founders told their new colleagues of “ a psychological trick ” that they employed to acquire teenage users en masse

They explained how tbh would create dedicated, private Instagram accounts that targeted users of a particular school.

Taking advantage of the fact that many high schoolers list their school on their Instagram profiles, tbh found a school's location page, then followed any accounts that included that school's name. The tbh account would be blank, except for a call-to-action inviting people to stay tuned for its future app.

According to BuzzFeed, young users would be curious and follow the account back.

Once tbh had collated enough follow requests for its private account, it would wait till 4 p.m., when schools typically finish, known as "The Golden Launch Hour" internally at tbh.

It would then add the App Store URL for its main app to its private Instagram profile and set the account public, which notified teen users that their follow request had been accepted. They would often follow the link and download the app and like magic, tbh essentially went viral among teens.

It worked too. Tbh was downloaded 5 million times in nine weeks and was acquired by Facebook just three months after launch. Soon after the deal, however, tbh plummeted down the App Store ranking.

The note's authors wrote that these kinds of hacky tactics "are certainly too 'scrappy' for a big company," but added that Facebook could learn from their methods. That might include sending out push notifications instead of download links, "to ensure critical mass" for a new launch.

Facebook declined to comment.

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