Sending mobile notifications on news applications can be an effective way of attracting readers’ attention. But, if not properly implemented, it can irritate the users. The local analytic firm, Localytics, has explored how users react to mobile notifications.

More than 50% of smartphone users consider it irritating, according to Localytics research.

More than a quarter of people involved in this study think that their notifications are useful. This is because they point them to news and content that they are interested in. This led the researchers to conclude that the proper use of mobile notifications within news applications must be personalised. The personalisation would be according to the user’s needs and interests.

pie chart of a study conducted to research how mobile users respond to notifications

Annoying Mobile Notifications

They asked the people when they want to receive notifications on their mobile devices. The survey respondents answered that they are most interested in special offers based on their personal preferences (48%), striking news (35%). New content and special offers based on the user’s location came in last place (34 %).

News apps and other online services often have the option of sending notifications to users on their mobile devices, but studies like this show that such options must be carefully used.

pie chart showing which industry uses mobile notifications the most

Push Notification Usage By Industry

Subhajit Banerjee, Mobile Editor at The Guardian told the World Editors Forum said:

“We are very conscious of user fatigue. We try to emphasize to our editors that less is more and we only send out alerts when a major news event dictates that.”

Another Mobile Notification??

What this study also showed is that people who receive 2-5 notifications per week are 50% likely to turn off their notifications. In accordance, 36% of app users would stop using the application altogether if they received 6-10 messages in a week’s time.

People experience fatigue because of the constant overflow of push notifications. It makes us want to check our phones more often than we should and than we need to.

Maybe it’s time for a digital detox?