Push notifications are one of the most powerful yet under-hyped tool in the history of software. Never before, have software developers had such extraordinary power. You can basically go and tap on shoulders of millions of users to ask them to take notice.
Before this, the only medium of contacting people was through email or through an in-app notification. To take analogies for this in the physical world:
- You visit a store, the store has a huge SALE banner with few clothes on some mannequins. Thats an in-app notification with the store owner asking for your attention.
- You receive an ad for a new credit card in your mail. Thats an email notification.
- A door-to-door salesman comes to your door to sell you a new vacuum cleaner. Thats a push notification.
Only in software world, its as easy to send a door-to-door salesman as to send a mail or put clothes on a mannequin. But apps have not used this power correctly at all. With such power, not only can you grossly misuse it by making every little notif a push in order to increase retention; but you could lose out on the next big opportunity.
Infact, I believe, that “The Future of Mobile may not look like apps”. Traditionally we interact with software through pull-based model (go to google.com for finding information, linkedin.com for building your brand etc.). With push, you move to a model where the apps themselves are not tiny little island destinations, but hidden tools brought forth to help complete a task. If this is not already apparent, it will become even clearer with the rise of smart-watch and other personal devices.
In conclusion, I will quote Uncle Ben from Spiderman:
“With great power comes great responsibility”
Also I would like to start a conversation on what you think we should be doing at Linkedin.