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Article: ESSAY: Viral Loops 101-Chapter 1
It's interesting but far from the real deal for me. It's an example of how desperate company's are. If you make/built/create something really worth using/having you will not need those tactics and Ads. People will come to you requesting your product and even pay if it's really worth it.
If you need Ads to make it you have already lost. Ads are an insult to the user even tho most people don't see them that way. If door to door sale people knocked on your real door as often as you see an Ad on the internet you would be calling the police. Yet for whatever reason people simply don't see online Ads in the same light yet.
I realize that is a very generic opinion and much more goes into those practices but my point is the bottom line is all about $ and people will generally do what ever it takes to make a buck.