The Dark Social

Mobiles are taking on a more and more significant role in our lives… Now being named the ‘Dark Social’ we are becoming increasingly more reliant on mobile technology.

Research shows Inbound web traffic coming from ‘dark social’, such as via links from email, forums or instant message, now accounts for 74 per cent of all online sharing activity in the UK, according to research from RadiumOne.

But why are mobiles so appealing?


60 years ago American psychologist B.F. Skinner conducted a study giving rats randomly-timed rewards. The rats were on the edge of their seats during the waiting period between unexpected rewards, actively anticipating the next one. They obsessively tapped on a bar in their cage, hoping they could trigger a reward.

Mobile phones activate the same response system. Every time you receive a text, tweet or ‘facebook like’ dopamine is released and the Unexpected Reward System is triggered.

So for all marketers this must beg the question, Is this is a good platform to be communicating on?

Brands such as Clarks and Shazam are testing the water by rolling out campaigns on WhatsApp.

Will brands break through the intimate barriers of the likes of ‘Whatsapp’ and ‘Snapchat’ and provide a radical change in the way we currently market our brands OR will it have a detrimental effect to these risk taking brands?

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