How to use push notifications without abusing consumer trust

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Urban PushPerceived abuse of push notifications may lead mobile developers into trouble with platform providers. Two weeks ago Apple followed up its decision to remove AppGratis from its App Store by eliminating the company's ability to send push notifications to existing users. In its published guidelines, Apple says "Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions or direct marketing of any kind," but the line between merely informational and promotional content is hard to distinguish. Google, meanwhile, updated its guidelines around push notifications last August, effectively banning anything that looks like an ad from being pushed to a notification bar in an app.

Urban Airship, a Portland-based firm with two other locations in the U.S. and an office in London, has been promoting the idea of "good push"--with the idea that developers need more education on the use of this communications channel. "It can be a bit Darwinian--if you aren't slapped down by the platform people, (consumers) are going to turn off push or delete your app," says Urban Airship Chief Marketing Officer Brent Hieggelke. "It's unlike e-mail, where you can send spam and there's not a whole lot they can do." Feature

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