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Why did you uninstall Jinri Toutiao and Douyin?

内酷网2个月前 (03-18)英文学习646

Hidden rules known to insiders of Douyin


Zhang Yiming, founder of Douyin, once made a similar statement: "half of the problems in many people's lives are caused by this reason, without delayed gratification."

But there are some subtle differences. Zhang Yiming divides people into two categories: a small number of elites who live in reality and most people who revolve around one thing.

He said:

"A small number of elites pursue efficiency and achieve self-awareness, and they live in reality. But most people need to revolve around one thing, whether it's religion, fiction, love or Jinri Toutiao. Users need to be addicted. I don't think there is much difference between playing Texas and drinking red wine and watching gossip and videos."

Keenly, even in the ever-changing biology and commerce, he grasped some immutable laws. He once took part in a biology competition on behalf of his high school. When he was in college, he first signed up for a biology major and was not selected.

Nearly 20 years later, he still remembers a textbook written by Chen Yuezeng, a professor at Peking University, called General Biology, which influenced him deeply.

"organisms are rich and varied from cell to ecology, but the laws behind them are very simple and elegant, which can be compared to designing systems or looking at corporate economic systems."

Zhang Yiming mentioned that biology can inspire you to start your own business.

With the judgment of human nature and the appreciation of biological laws, Zhang Yiming started a byte-beating entrepreneurial road in March 2012. This rational elite who faces the reality has created a lot of things that make the vast majority of people revolve around.

In the first 90 days of starting a business, Zhang Yiming successively launched a number of applications such as "connotation jokes", "funny lost pictures", "connotation comics" and so on. By the time it was shut down by the government, the number of users of "connotation jokes" had reached 200million.

Jinri Toutiao was officially released in August 2012. Five years later, the number of daily active users of Jinri Toutiao reached 120 million in July 2017. Douyin launched in September 2016 and in June 2018, less than two years later, the number of global daily active users of Douyin soared to 150 million.

These products, which have this unparalleled growth rate, are exquisite and huge, and they are successful cases praised by product managers. But without exception, it points in the same direction, immediately satisfying your instinctive desires.

In a sense, Zhang Yiming's entrepreneurship is almost entirely on the gambling table of human nature, so he can't stop. They are all in the game.


"the essence of delayed gratification is to overcome human weaknesses, and to overcome weaknesses is for more freedom."

This is what Zhang Yiming once said.

Today, however, the weakness of human nature has become the cash cow of the scientific and technological elite. Looking back at the popularity of Douyin, it was never an accident, it was meticulous everywhere.

1. No time

If you pay attention, you will find that the home page of Douyin hides the mobile phone time, and all the information at the top of the phone is hidden. When you play a short video, you don't know what time it is. Douyin deliberately blurs your judgment of time. It is not clear how long you have been playing on this product. When you react, a few hours or half a day may pass.

If you flip through a few APP that are commonly used on hand, you will find that such a practice on Douyin is extremely rare. For APP, which is user-oriented, your time is the money they want to earn.

Do you know where there is no clock?

Casino. This place doesn't want you to know what time it is at all. The purpose is to keep you gambling.

What's more, even the restaurant and shopping malls outside the casino have set up an electronic canopy, and there are blue skies and white clouds overhead for 24 hours, so that you don't know day and night, it feels like it's still early, and you can still kill two more sets in the casino. The longer you stay, the more money you will spend.

2. Full screen sinking

As soon as you enter the Douyin interface, the short video directly dominates the entire mobile phone, canceling the common bars of other products, and is equivalent to concealing the window. When the short video is horizontal, the black background is used, which is similar to the airtight space after lights out in the cinema.

Eliminate other distractions and immerse you as much as possible. In this way, there is only Douyin in your world, and even other APP on your phone can't interfere with you easily.

Similar elaborate designs, and windowless arrangements for casinos. In casinos, there are almost no transparent glass windows, not even frosted glass windows, isolating you from the outside world, and anything that interferes with guests' gambling heart is excluded.

At the same time, the layout of the casino is very similar to the environment, the decoration is gorgeous and colorful, which makes people lose their sense of spatial orientation, so it is difficult to find an exit.

Douyin is a garden labyrinth, which is easier to get in than to get out.

3. Slide to switch short video.

The distance between each short video content of Douyin is very close, you don't need to do too much action at all, encounter a video you don't like, slide for another one. And the next content is also pushed to you by the system. For other long video APP, when you see an unsatisfactory video, you need to make a shutdown and exit action, and reselect a new video.

Referring to the casino hall, there are gambling tables, each table is very close, and each exit is full of gambling machines. It should strengthen the attraction of this kind of gaming table and not let you leave easily.

Browsing Douyin, see do not like the content, equivalent to this set of bad situation, lost, you are not happy. All you have to do is slide, and at that moment, you quickly switch a new gambling table in front of your eyes, and the cards in your hand look a little interesting, and you, who originally felt a little tired of getting up, were asked to stay. You think you made the choice, but in fact you are still the passive recipient, and everything is arranged.

Douyin strengthens the seamless connection between the virtual gaming table and the gaming table. You don't even need to get up, you don't have to make any choices, just have fun. The result is obvious, you are "tied" to the exciting and excited gambling table, can not get down.

4. No threshold, direct stimulation and reward

Enter the home page of Douyin, there is no search button, there is a short video. Through its efficient algorithms and tags, the first video pushed to you can often poke you. For example: pregnant women, the first video they see is often parenting.

Troublesome registration process, not needed. Complex methods of operation are not needed. As soon as you open Douyin, directly jump out of the short video you are interested in, and give you feedback and stimulation as soon as it comes up.

On the other hand, the entrance to the casino is often lined with slot machines and dice machines. Simple, direct, starting at HK $20. Seemingly unremarkable things, which do not seem to be lethal, are one of the most important benefits in casinos.

With simple settings and seemingly no danger, the player's vigilance has been greatly reduced. At the same time, you do not need to think, give you quick and strong pleasant feedback, this very low threshold, extremely high "reward", turned a large number of tourists who only intended to "sightseeing" into ignorant gamblers.

5, 15 seconds "earbug" music

The rapid outbreak of Tik Tok has also given birth to a number of "Douyin Divine Comedy", which some people even call "drooling songs". Many Douyin users must have experienced the experience of being brainwashed by these songs. The brain loops these melodies uncontrollably, plays them automatically in their minds anytime, anywhere, and is accompanied by interesting pictures on Douyin.

This phenomenon has its own scientific name-unconscious musical fantasy, nicknamed "earbug". Scientific research has found that music that dominates the cycle of singles in your brain tends to have a simple melody, a loop and a light rhythm.

Then look at the Douyin soundtrack, mostly for the best part of the song, very memorable. At the same time, the music soundtrack on Douyin has a prominent commonality-simplicity and repetition.

The melodies selected from these songs change simply, with repetitive melodies, repetitive pitches and repetitive beats. The lyrics are also easy to understand, and many repetitions are set at the same time. The repeatability of high frequency strengthens the user's memory of the song.

At the same time, experiments show that the duration of music in the earworm phenomenon is about 10-15 seconds, which is exactly the length of a Douyin video with music.

In general, people in emotional anxiety or low attention, there is a high probability of "earworm" phenomenon. So Douyin's 15-second soundtrack is like an invisible switch. When you are distracted and slow to think, quietly open it and occupy your brain. At this node, you may pick up your phone and subconsciously browse on Douyin.

You think you made the choice to open Douyin on your own initiative, but in fact, it is quite possible that the short video APP manipulated you, just like Pavlov manipulated his dog.

The famous "manipulation" experiment in biology-"classical conditioned reflex".

While studying the digestion of dogs, Pavlov found that at first dogs secrete saliva when they see food. Later, as soon as the feeding researcher approached him, the dog drooled uncontrollably, even though the dog did not see the food. Pavlov did further experiments. First, the researcher struck a tuning fork in front of the dog. Obviously, the dog did not produce any saliva when it heard the sound of the tuning fork.

The researchers then struck the tuning fork and then fed the dog. After many times, as soon as the dog hears the sound of a tuning fork, it will think of food, produce expectation and desire to eat, and secrete a lot of saliva. This is a kind of acquired conditioned stimulus, but also a kind of artificial manipulation.

While browsing Douyin, you may have an artificial invisible tuning fork in your mind. When the Douyin Divine Comedy unconsciously floats through your brain, you think of interesting short video images and the pleasure of smiling while watching the video. Just like a tuning fork makes a sound, you begin to unconsciously expect visual stimulation and sensory satisfaction from Douyin.

As a result, you may be unknowingly manipulated and play with this APP.

6. Unpredictable content

Full-screen design, so that every time users can only see the current content, only decline, can watch the next short video. You can't guess exactly what the next video will be, which is an important reason why you can't help yourself.

Who is the best at playing this trick?

Slot machine.

Unpredictable expectations and excitement are equivalent to intermittent rewards for slot machines.

By contrast, before short video products such as Douyin came out, long video products almost used a side-by-side waterfall flow. This setting allows you to quickly predict whether you are interested by browsing the video title and the video header image. It saves users' time and allows users to choose the videos they want to watch.

What about Douyin?

Obviously, from the beginning to the end, it didn't want to save you time.

Talking about slot machines, no matter they are placed in casinos or street shops, they have "eaten" a lot of people alive, and there are no bones left. It's incredible, such a simple thing, but it's hard to extricate yourself. Scholars have been unable to find a scientific explanation for a long time.

In the mid-20th century, psychologist B.F. Skinner took mice as the research object, studied the relationship between reward and behavior, and accidentally discovered the core mechanism of slot machines and gambling fascination. He placed a mouse and a feeding lever in a transparent box, and if the lever was touched, food would enter the box. After several times, the mice learned to manipulate the lever and eat reasonably.

Then Skinner made an unexpected change, and the reward strategy changed to give food only once a minute, and the feeding time was random. Unexpectedly, the mice in the box began to touch the lever more frequently and fell into a state of fascination.

This has also become a well-known further "manipulation" experiment in biology-"operational conditioned reflex".

The experiment found that random, unpredictable rewards were the most exciting. In the process, imperceptible excitement hangs over you, and a lot of dopamine fills the brain.

Many articles have mentioned the idea that "secreting dopamine makes people happy", which is an one-sided misreading of the results of dopamine research. The real effect of dopamine is to expect a reward. When you are full of expectation and desire for something, your brain produces a lot of dopamine, which gives you a sense of excitement.

People who are addicted to browsing on Douyin often feel that they are already very tired, but they still can't help but want to see the next one, the next one, and another one. The side effects of dopamine cause you to craze for rewards and look for rewards. Too much dopamine keeps you in an irrational state of hunger and thirst, unable to feel satisfied, unable to stop, even exhausted.

When people stimulate the activity of dopamine through a variety of activities beyond normal levels, the activity of the anterior striate area responsible for reward, decision-making and impulse control decreases, and the activity of the inferior ventral medial axis cortex of the anterior lobe decreases. The individual in charge of action has increased activity of the limbic system and is more willing to try risky behavior.

In the long run, your cognitive, thinking, decision-making and self-control skills will continue to decline, and your impulsiveness will gradually increase.

In fact, you are out of control, even controlled.

Then you will find that you may not want to accept the fact that people can get up, and Skinner's mouse is no different.


Inside and outside the bureau, it's all about human nature.

Nowadays, these human weaknesses are becoming a means for a small number of elites to make profits. Asa Ruskin, an information stream developer, said:

"behind your phone screen, there are thousands of engineers trying to make the software as addictive as possible."

Those unstoppable pleasures have never been replicated locally and on a large scale as they are today. They create a lot of puzzles and don't intend to put you down at the table. And when you walk out of the casino with every penny squeezed out of you, you can hardly say that the user experience of the casino is great.

Because from the second you are on the table, it is doomed to the beginning of unfair trading. Caution and blindness is a mistake that most people make, avoiding what they should not, but taking risks that they should not take. Nine out of ten bets.

Life is originally a game of inequality, and the excessive concentration of power in science and technology is accelerating this inequality and making it more hidden.

"We no longer live in an era in which computers will be hacked, but in which human beings will be invaded."

In the future, it may be difficult for most people to escape the risk of being invaded and controlled. Scientific and technological elites hold power, their influence is greater than any other world in the past, and good is manifested, while evil is expanded.

Technology can be neutral, but people who have technology are not necessarily. In the dark box of technology, will choice gradually become a lie woven by the powerful for the weak?

Sometimes we don't even realize that this is an unequal deal. In front of those in power of science and technology, we are naked. And we know nothing about them.

Are we using technology, or is technology manipulating us?

The line is becoming increasingly blurred.

According to Willie, the whistleblower of the Facebook leak in April, the analytics company got the data of 87 million Facebook users, manipulated which tweets and which messages they could see, and eventually manipulated the US election. In the end, founder Zuckerberg had to sit on the witness stand of the U.S. Capitol for two days in a row, taking questions from 44 senators and explaining them one by one.

During a five-hour hearing on April 11, Zuckerberg said "I'm sorry" once, "I'm responsible" several times, and even said he regretted it. There are still lawmakers at the scene who sharply questioned the founder of Facebook, who bought all the real estate around his house in order to protect his privacy.

"this may be the first time you have testified before Congress, but this is not the first time you have faced privacy-related issues. You have a 14-year history of apologizing."

A congressman asked him loudly, "Don't you think your power is too powerful?"

In 1931, Huxley in the Beautiful New World, the Prophet generally revealed that "power can control people through feelings of love and happiness, rather than through violence and fear."

Now, the prophecy has entered the hundred-year countdown, and the wilderness of freedom is approaching.

Some people choose to be Pavlov's happy dog, some choose to be Skinner's mouse seeking stimulation, some choose to be their own people, suffering, want true happiness, and seek the joy of freedom. Some people choose to be the third kind of person, but also hope that others are the first two categories.

It can be predicted that in the future, the control of technology over people will become more and more frequent and more and more difficult to detect. These unstoppable forces may create more resources for us, but we should still be careful, know ourselves, see them, use them, and avoid being captured or even controlled.

And for the owners of these forces, vigilance can never be less.