How meta could be using subliminal messaging to grow their top line—and 3 things you as an operator can learn from them.

Do you see the white dot on the top right corner of your instagram icon?

Do you also see the blue dot on the top right corner of your WhatsApp status icon?

They look very similar

This Friday, I felt an out-of-place-urge to use instagram right after archiving all my WhatsApp conversations

there had to be an explanation for this out-of-place-urge—this was an epiphany.

perhaps it’s because the similarity shared by these 2 icons

Meta could be sending from WhatsApp to instagram using subliminal messaging

the instagram icon could have been deliberately designed to remind users of unread notifications

or this is a complete coincidence

whichever the case, this coincidence seems to be working as a subliminal redirect

subtly suggesting users open instagram every time they use WhatsApp

Here are 3 insights, you as an operator should take from this

  1. Meta is going all in on instagram and abandoning facebook—you can expect meta to never do anything without data insights—this is an indication of instagram decisively outgrowing facebook—ad revenue.
  2. Meta is going all in on tiktok style content—It seems like I’m spending a decisive amount of time on instagram feed which appears under the search icon—it’s a mashup of what makes you keep coming back to instagram—Meta’s expertise of monetising dopamine is second to none on the consumer internet.
  3. Subtle cues work amazingly well in products—if Meta is using this technique intentionally, you can be sure, very sure it works because it stands on billions of dollars of spending by Meta in understanding human behaviour. Subtle cues work best, subtle cues are the 80/20 of consumer internet, subtle cues drive not so subtle outcomes.

Here are 3 things, you as an operator should take action on—straight away

  1. Your current product needs a successor—your ‘facebook’ needs an ‘instagram’—your current product, no matter how amazingly its performing right now or how much revenue its generating, it will eventually be replaced by something else—because this is a centuries old, naturally recurring historic precedence, everything which goes up in a logarithmic fashion, will go down in the same way—to be overtaken with something new. You must look for potential products, concentric or otherwise and trends your users will eventually move on to, you must preempt this with your own instagram, if you do this, your users will stay with you. What a nice thing to say this is!
  2. If your product does leave the user with a better dopamine level than they opened it with—you do not have a product—restaurants do this, bookshops do this, all successful businesses do this. Every bit of your ‘instagram’ must exist to make the user leave more energised, happier and inspired than they arrived. This really is the only secret to all successful businesses.
  3. Use subtle cues, they work wonders—spend 80% of your efforts on subtle cues in design, copy and all communication and on every customer touch points.

and you will have done 1 of the most important things for your business—and saved a few billion dollars—not bad for pocket change.

Author: Usman Gondal

3 thoughts on “How meta could be using subliminal messaging to grow their top line—and 3 things you as an operator can learn from them.”

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