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Our website is used to manage investment funds. Users can create channel pages that are basically a list of funds plus an activity stream.

Now, we want other users to go on those pages and start following them.

One idea we came up with is to hide all the information on the page and show a message "To see those information follow this channel". But now I'm thinking that the opposite could be better: show everything and allow the user to follow, maybe even change "follow" with "like" so that it seems less "demanding".

I was wondering if there are studies about the topic.

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'Diminishing returns' has been accosted by web developers in forming a plan when user interaction involves any method of registration.

Simply put, subtle, coercive methods are better than obstructive practises.

What you may gain in the forced method, you'll lose more in annoying people who will leave the page.

I would go with the idea that showing the information up front and then telling people why it is beneficial to follow this users page (up to date, easier to return to it etc..)

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I would assume there is a plus when you follow one of those pages. Why don't you present one of those benefits to the user as a "reward" for following a certain page? "Follow x and receive updates on your dashboard" "Follow x and receive notifications"

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