North Texas Daily

Addictive apps: tech giants craft behavior

Addictive apps: tech giants craft behavior

Addictive apps: tech giants craft behavior
February 27
00:42 2014

Obed Manuel // Senior Staff Writer

Speech pathology sophomore Anna Grady said the first time she played Flappy Bird was a frustrating experience.

“I kept losing,” Grady said. “I didn’t even make it past the first pipe thing.”

After several tries, she finally made it past the first gap, but her joy was short-lived as she struggled to improve her score. As of now, her high score is 55.

Throughout the day, Grady said she spends about an hour playing Flappy Bird, but she spends much more time on other applications, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

These apps represent the cream of the crop when it comes to gauging users and keeping them from switching to other apps.

With technology improving at a rapid pace, apps have become a large part of people’s lives—providing information, entertainment and even supplying help. The key to an effective app is giving users one of those three while using provocative reminders.

At the end of last year, Apple revealed the top 10 most popular apps for the entire year. At the top sat Candy Crush, a game described as addictive by many App Store game reviews. Others on the list were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Temple Run 2.

In January, Flappy Bird, a game that was released in 2013, soared to the top of download charts for both Apple and Android app markets. The game reportedly generates $50,000 a day through its banners ads, but has since been pulled off the market because creator Dong Nguyen could not “take this anymore” according to his Twitter account.


Michael Olaya, co-founder of Pictrition and UNT physics senior, said that while working to develop his company’s app, the group considered behavioral science research.

“The easier it is to do, the more likely it is for people to do it,” Olaya said.

Pictrition is an app that allows its users to upload photos of their meals to a community of health-conscious users who rate the healthiness of a meal.

Olaya said his hope is that Pictrition users form the habit of sharing photos of every meal with the intention of having a healthier lifestyle.

“It has to provide value to someone,” Olaya said. “If you can’t provide value to someone, then you’re not offering anything.”

Center photo: Speech pathology sophomore Anna Grady shows off the Flappy Bird app on her phone in the Business Leadership Building on Wednesday afternoon. Her current high score in Flappy Bird stands at 55 points. Photo by Obed Manuel / Senior Staff Writer  

Feature photo: Speech pathology sophomore Anna Grady plays the Flappy Bird app in the Business Leadership Building on Wednesday afternoon. Grady downloaded the app about a month ago after a friend recommended it to her. Photo by Obed Manuel / Senior Staff Photographer 

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