Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Read the Guide Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Learning Center
Learning Center
Close

Learn

Access the Learning Center

Free resources to help you master inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center

Blog / Newest Insights

Jump straight to the latest inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer insights

Access the Learning Center

Free and Pro Courses

Take your knowledge to the next level with free and Pro courses inside IMPACT+

Access the Learning Center

Recordings on Demand

On-demand recordings from past IMPACT events and livestreams

Access the Learning Center

Featured

Inbound Strategy Playbook 2022

Learn 7 foundational principles that have proven to set inbound marketing strategies up for success

Access the Learning Center

Free 5 Min. Inbound Marketing Assessment

Take this free assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales

Access the Learning Center

Blueprint for a More Profitable Agency

See why coaching, not implementation, is the key to happier clients and better profit margins

Access the Learning Center

Case Studies

See examples of companies working with IMPACT and thriving with They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Services
Services
Close
Navigation_8_2021_taya

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training
They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop
Navigation_8_2021_workshop

Inbound Marketing Services

Inbound Marketing Services
Navigation_8_2021_website design - monitor

Website Design & Development

Website Design & Development
Navigation_8_2021_hubspot implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation
Navigation_8_2021_virtual selling

Virtual Sales
Training

Virtual Sales <br>Training
Navigation_8_2021_swell - paid ads

Paid Search & Social Services

Paid Search & Social Services
Become a Certified Coach
Become a Certified Coach
Close
Close
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Read the Guide
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Free Inbound Marketing Playbook
View The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

New Senate Bill Targets Tech's "Addictive" Tactics To Gain Engagement

By Iris Hearn

Iris Hearn also recommends this free guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022.

New Senate Bill Targets Tech's "Addictive" Tactics To Gain Engagement Blog Feature

For years, marketers have implemented psychological tactics in marketing campaigns to influence users to take desired actions. 

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

However, in our “always-connected” culture where people are constantly engaging with internet content, there’s been a blurred line between innocent marketing and manipulation. 

With standard marketing tactics, brands are competing for sales. However, the game is slightly changed with social media apps — now, they’re competing for your attention. Since these platforms make the majority of their revenue from advertising sales, these companies have an increased incentive to employ tactics that keep users on their platform for longer periods of time. 

So much so that the government is taking notice. 

Now, tech companies are using well-researched psychological tactics in the UX to create apps and and websites that are purpose-built to essentially create an “addiction” for their users. 

At least, that’s what Missouri Senator Josh Hawley believes. Hawley recently sponsored the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act, a bill that is intended to ban “addictive” features purposefully designed to keep people on platforms longer. 

According to Hawley, the SMART bill aims to: 

“Prohibit social media companies from using practices that exploit human psychology or brain physiology to substantially impede freedom of choice, to require social media companies to take measures to mitigate the risks of internet addiction and psychological exploitation, and for other purposes.”

What’s in the SMART Act? 

Hawley’s SMART Act seeks to ban the following tactics apps and platforms utilize to influence engagement:

  • Infinite scroll or auto-refill 
  • Elimination of natural stopping points 
  • Auto-play (with the exception of pre-made playlists or music streaming purposes) 
  • Badges and other rewards linked to engagement with the platform

I think most of us can relate to the moment when you click on one Facebook video, and after scrolling for a while, you realize much more time has passed than you had thought. 

Because Facebook will automatically scroll to the next video and block your smartphone’s clock from appearing, it’s easy to get lost in hours of video content. This is made even more powerful by Facebook’s advanced algorithm that keeps tabs on what you’re watching to provide recommendations you’d be interested in. 

While I do understand that Facebook is doing this to intentionally keep users on the platform longer and why that can be seen as problematic, I’m not going to lie — I really do enjoy the infinite scroll feature, and if it were to go away it's unlikely I'd watch the same amount of video content on the platform. 

Beyond Facebook’s auto-scroll, the bill would ban another popular social media feature — Snapstreaks.

If you’re not aware, Snapchat has a feature called Snapstreaks that indicates how many times you and another person have “Snapchatted” each other in a row. For each milestone, you get a new emoji tacked onto your Snapchat friendship. 

I don’t personally use it, but some people are really invested in it and have ongoing Snapstreaks dating back years

But, according to the SMART Act, this feature would be seen as a “badge or reward” for continuous engagement to the platform — meaning that users will return more often than they otherwise would for that reward. 

How will the SMART bill affect marketers? 

The SMART bill is similar to another Senate bill banning websites from utilizing “Dark Patterns” to manipulate users. Overall, because people now spend so much time on the internet, it should be unlawful to intentionally mislead or manipulate users. 

Still, if this bill passes (it's too early to tell the likelihood), it could set a precedent that would certainly shake up the industry, for better or for worse. 

As it stands already, platforms are constantly competing with one another to get more engagement time and repeat visits. For marketers, you want to advertise on the platform where people are spending longer amounts of time to increase the chances of reaching your audience. 

This increased engagement also allows advertisers to charge more for ads, as more traffic means more views, clicks, and impressions.

If that all goes away, it will be interesting to see how engagement time is affected, and if ad performance drops as a result. 

Beyond advertisement purposes, I think there’s a point to be made about the role of social media and internet-connected apps in our modern lives — and that they may have a larger effect on our behavior than we realize. 

Putting restrictions in place like this may force marketers to re-evaluate their advertising strategy, and also force them to turn to their own website or apps' UX and see if they’re employing similar tactics. 

Engagement is great, but earned engagement is better — and it soon may be required by law to eliminate any attempts to sway user behavior in this way. 

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Topics:

News
Published on August 13, 2019

Recent Articles

INBOUND 2021 Recap: Takeaways, Speakers, and Lessons Learned
October 25, 2021 • 7 min read
Drift report on pandemic fallout reveals seismic shift in marketing strategy
September 9, 2021 • 2 min read
Google Shares New Tools to Audit Website User Experience
August 12, 2021 • 3 min read
Google: Website Content Quality More Important Than Quantity
August 10, 2021 • 3 min read
New HubSpot CMS Hub Starter Tier Released for Growing Businesses
August 6, 2021 • 4 min read
Why most marketing 'news' doesn't matter to inbound marketers
August 3, 2021 • 4 min read
Gartner: Slashed 2021 marketing budgets increases in-house ownership
July 30, 2021 • 6 min read
ICYMI: Digital Marketing News Update for July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021 • 6 min read
How to Optimize Videos On Your Business Website for Search
July 23, 2021 • 4 min read
Data: 'Funny' seniors imagery is not only demeaning, it's inaccurate
July 21, 2021 • 4 min read
ICYMI: Digital Marketing News Update for July 19, 2021
July 19, 2021 • 6 min read
Google: 'Here's how to prepare for the future private web'
July 16, 2021 • 4 min read
How Facebook's news feed algorithm works and prioritizes content
July 14, 2021 • 4 min read
ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for July 12, 2021
July 12, 2021 • 5 min read
Too many internal links in content can confuse Google about site structure
July 9, 2021 • 5 min read
Data: Facebook is No. 1 in revenue value for publishers, Twitter is a bust
July 7, 2021 • 4 min read
ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for July 6, 2021
July 6, 2021 • 5 min read
Google July 2021 core update rolling out over next 2 weeks
July 2, 2021 • 4 min read
ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for June 28, 2021
June 28, 2021 • 6 min read
Google punts third-party cookie ban to 2023 for 'responsible planning'
June 25, 2021 • 6 min read
ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for June 21, 2021
June 21, 2021 • 5 min read
Finally, Google page experience core update is rolling out
June 18, 2021 • 3 min read
Apple Mail privacy news spooks email marketers, newsletter creators
June 16, 2021 • 4 min read
ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for June 14, 2021
June 14, 2021 • 6 min read
ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for June 7, 2021
June 7, 2021 • 6 min read