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Fast, Faster, Push Notification- A Blessing for News Coverage?

“Eight out of ten Germans have a smartphone”, confirms the current study “Smartphone-Markt: Konjuktur und Trends” (The Smartphone Market: Conjecture and Trends) by Bitkom. This means that 80 percent of Germans, nearly 54 million people, own a mobile device and use a variety of messaging, dating, shopping, and social media apps. Ten years ago, this number would have been unfathomable. For publishers, news apps have also become the standard, including a beloved feature: push notifications. CTO of Tickaroo, Andreas Gerauer, shares his thoughts on push notifications, their potential, and why they could be a blessing for the news coverage industry- or not. Always Reachable: Push Notifications for Costumer Retention With smartphone technology continuing to improve, so does app functionality. Similar to how mobile applications replaced SMS texting and mobile surfing, these news apps now enable end users to be reached by their news providers in real-time. Text messaging within a messenger app was the beginning, sports scores followed, and finally online shopping found the way to push notifications: individual purchase suggestions or location-based product suggestions are now must-haves of any quality shopping app. Now publishers and event coordinators are focusing on digital transformations as well- with good cause. Readers are Customers Too, and Why Old News Isn’t Really News The demand for up-to-date news is larger than it ever was before. In our day and age old news isn’t considered “real news” anymore. In order to effectively cover world events, editorial teams and their technology must always be performing on extremely high levels. Push notifications can potentially provide the solution for addressing the demand of covering the daily news and ensuring that the information collected also makes it to the readers in a timely fashion. Through this technology, the connection to the reader can also be sustainably strengthened. This is certainly worthwhile as the reader is a type of customer, in that they pay with their time when they read relevant content. Yet readers also determine what content they feel is relevant for them. The smartphone user of today typically privileges shorter news bites, such as the information on the lock screen, and then determines for him or herself which content to explore more in depth. A Potential Blessing for Publishers and Event Coordinators- But Be Careful! For media and publishers as well as event organizers, push notifications are a dream come true. In only a few seconds you can reach thousands, even millions of people- at any time, at any location, and with any desired topic. However, push notifications are often blindly used for their potential benefits without considering and maintaining the recipients’ interests. Hourly notifications, seven days a week, requires a great deal of devotion from readers. Ultimately, with such a high frequency only a few things are really relevant. “Sometimes less is more”, as the proverb says, is advice that app carriers should always keep in mind. In serious cases, this activity could lead to the deactivation of push notifications or even the deinstallation of the app, thereby losing a valuable customer. In Conclusion: Be Aware of Reader Interests to Keep them Informed for the Long Haul Publishers and event planners have recognized the increasing value of push notifications for news coverage. But they must also evaluate when it makes most sense to use them. Detailed analysis about app interactions can give some indication of trends, strengths and weaknesses of the sent messages. On the other hand, it’s also important that the receiver is able to decide for him or herself which topics he or she would like to be informed about. These selection options are imperative for any modern news apps in order for it to sustain readers’ interests. In this regard, this selection concept could become very interesting in regards to Artificial Intelligence. With the help of a questionnaire, the app could identify potential user interests and would send fitting messages to the recipient. This is only one potential demonstration of what the future of push notifications may hold, but certainly an exciting one. For the original article in German, please click here!

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