Currently I am pursuing a masters degree in CS and I am following a course called 'HCI' (human machine interaction).

The professor asked us a question, but no one can define a clear answer for it.

His question:

Why do some websites use the word 'My' or 'You' in their name, like YouTube and Myspace.

Any help is appreciated.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Emotional connection

In my opinion: Those words directed to our unconscious to grasp the product as something that is already a part of us, to make us feel that it was created personally for us.

The CEO of Zappos.com says that "every call is perceived as a way to make a positive emotional connection with a customer." So, what does "emotional connection" mean? It's about capturing hearts and minds, for how a company makes us feel determines our opinions about it and our buying decisions. It is more psychological than logical. And, more unconscious than conscious.

source: Four Key Strategies for Building Emotional Connections with your Customers

Make Your Potential Users Feel Significant

The need to feel significant is ingrained in all of us. There are many ways to make a person feel valued. Make your users feel important by letting them know your service is created personally for them.

Those websites start to trigger this emotion right from the website name.

Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed

source: The 6 human needs why we do what we do

MySpace is a social networking site where users can keep their personal things together like their music, friends, videos ect. The idea of MySpace is to let me organise "my" things in a space dedicated to me and share them with a closed group (my friends) or the public if I want to.

Youtube was built purely for sharing. Yes, you can keep your videos private if you want to but that's not what it was built for. This article on Rewind and Capture says that the "You" on YouTube is to say that the content on the site is added by the user.

The name “YouTube” is actually pretty straightforward. The “You” represents that the content is user generated, created by individual users and not the site itself and “Tube” is a nod toward an older original term for television.

Both names are,

  • Meaningful: Relevant to the service the company provides.
  • Self explanatory.
  • Imagery: Conjure images or memories people can map to so they can remember it easily. (Inc, 2014) Ex: "My Space" is used to refer to a person's personal space. "Tube" is a reference to television. Which conjures memories of watching videos.

And as mentioned by @dimshik

  • Emotionally connects the user. The name "MySpace" makes the user subconsciously believe that it belongs to them. And the name "YouTube" creates a feeling of belonging to a community.

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