Pushing your limits will make things interesting! Push notifications aren’t an entirely new phenomenon, but as mobile handset growth continues to accelerate along with faster handset releases per cycle, push alerts only grow in importance as a channel for applications to communicate with and re-engage users.
In theory, push notifications seem elegant, a way to prompt a mobile user at the right place, at the right time, regarding the right piece of information. In practice, however, Apple’s notification channel was flooded by marketing techniques almost out of the gate, taking the great promise of push and watering it down as application developers ruthlessly ask users for the permission to send alerts, and then often abuse that permission.
The result is?
Many mobile users doggy-paddle aimlessly through an ocean of push notifications or some learn about OS-level settings and disable them selectively (or altogether).
It doesn’t have to be like this. I don’t have aggregate data on the ratio between total push notifications sent versus those which are opened, or any specific application-level data, but what I can share is something different from the angle of developer community.
Per se, it is juster to know the underlying significance of Push services to the world of mobile.
Before proceeding on to the rest of the article, I take this moment to thank GetJar for the App Meter survey they provided with which is of great importance in mining out information for this article.
From the snippets we took, the first look at the question was more appropriate.
- Which mobile messaging channels do you use to communicate with users?
Email was the winner in what developers are using right now, with push notifications in a close second. When we asked what communications channels developers plan to use, however, push tops the list, so we should expect to see push overtaking email as the leading mobile messaging tool going forward. This is maybe the most interesting finding; not that push notifications are more popular on developer roadmaps but that email is going to drop so radically.
User engagement is a perennial hot topic. So how do developers use push notifications to drive engagement (continued and repeated use)? Everyone wants to know which types of apps are having the most success and because success is most accurately measured by engagement, one way to figure this out is to look at which categories of apps are using push notifications and for what reason. It should be no surprise that news alerts and information updates are the most popular use cases. Social and geo updates are at the top of the list too.
If you use push notifications, how are you using them?
With something in store for the surmounting Push services, I also decided to focus on the Push Service providers from the aisle of developers.
The list here is so picky that it took days to filter out search results by analysing their features and their subsequent powered apps.
- Push Over
- Urban Ship
They offer a complete solution for including push notifications in your app. Use our beautiful dashboard, powerful API, and industry first features like push conversion to better engage your users. Built over REST API, Push.io offers libraries for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia Ovi and S40.
More info is here
Xtify, A sister of IBM offers a complete platform to easily integrate your mobile strategy providing marketers with robust message creation, targeting and analytics.
This xtify although says less, it offers more and its power is backed up by someone who is powerful in the market! More info is here
One of the less or no nonsense service provider that was relatively simple enough to integrate and something that is light weight is Push Over. It was easy enough to send real-time notifications for Android and iOS devices alone.
More info is here.
Urban Ship was the promising candidate with a more than a billion users around the planet; they have huge goodies to offer on the demand. They offer something extra than the others but what that extra is tightly held secret! You can merge with them to know them!
More info is here
Focussing its whole strength on iOS devices alone, Parse has become one of the trusted and reliable service providers for iOS platform. However, relying on their power Parse ventured forth to Android and Windows as well making it one of the big names in Push service industry!
Also, their booty of their indigenous products is sure to fuel you! More info is here.
The mobile marketing is sometimes under rated or under hyped since things are theoretical small and simple but the real truth is there are bigger engines for mobile than Web 2.0 in churning up biggest powers!
Push services being one of them is sure to head the way ahead in catching up with the customer with no gap of abusing a user with constant spamming of mails or calls! Well, I call them as abuse since am a victim of them! :-P