Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When push notification becomes spam

Push notification is a useful tool.  It allows user to find out about a quick update in real-time without unlocking iPhone.  Because of its invasive nature, it can be really annoying to the recipients.  It's especially true when the user receives an alert that he finds no value.  That's when push notification becomes spam.

Check out following examples of spammy push notification tactic.

Since Obama is in your town, it's your opportunity to join our spamming campaign.
Source: http://artofthecta.com/post/25868116326/brand-get-it-now-location-push

Surely the list of features will excite the users...
Source: http://blog.anylistapp.com/2012/11/push-notifications/

Complete with two call to actions!
Source: https://plus.google.com/111764607121160780649/posts/eorDTvuJN5K

Problem with these push notifications is that there is no easy way for user to opt out.  When was the last time you saw a spammy message from your own software without a clear option to opt out at the bottom of the email?

Apple has two choices.  Either they have to clean up abusive tactic to send spammy push notifications, or allow user to opt out and report the spam generators.

There is a lesson for product managers as well.  Don't make the app annoying to users.  Remember that life went on fine without the app.  Given enough annoyance users will replace it with another app or uninstall it all together.

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