“Apple had previously implemented a blanket ban on any marketing material being promoted through push notifications”
Apple has updated its App Store guidelines, with a new report on the matter by 9to5Mac stating that the company will now allow apps to push advertisements, promotions, and marketing material on push notifications on iOS. However, Apple has stated that while push notifications with advertisements can now be sent on iOS devices, app developers will need to offer its users with a clear option to opt out of receiving such material on notifications, and the makers of the apps will need to receive explicit permission from users before delivering ads to their devices.
The move marks a considerable shift from Apple’s original policy, which had so far stated that no apps could use notifications to deliver promotional content in a bid to prioritise user experience and to ensure that push notifications in question do not prove disruptive for users. However, over time, some parties have come to report about Apple’s own use of push notifications, where content very similar to promotional material was pushed through. This brought up questions of anti-competitive practices and accusations against Apple for breaching its own guidelines by virtue of controlling it.
Apple’s approach with marketing content means that users are not being entirely ironed out of the privilege to keep their notifications clean. Instead, the onus is still on users, who should have the ability to control what kind of notifications they see from the apps they use. This can be an effective process, since apps such as Amazon would now be able to use these notifications to notify its users about an upcoming sale, should the users wish to see such content. If they do not, users would be able to continue using their devices as before, and not see any unwarranted new notifications.
Going forward, it remains to be seen how the move is greeted by users, developers and companies alike, but Apple’s measured implementation of its new policy is likely to appease most.