Google and Apple Protecting User Data

Post By Hannah Downing

Google and Apple have been making strides when it comes to creating a safer, more transparent app space for consumers. For Google, this comes in the form of a new strategy to weed out the bad apps from the good ones. For Apple, this means specifically creating restrictions when it comes to user data, such as location services, and restricting this data to certain types of apps.

As Abner Li recently wrote for 9to5Google, Google is implementing a comparison strategy to find apps that may be requesting data from users that is irrelevant to the functioning of the app and, therefore, should not be requested. Google wants to stop this kind of data collection because they think this data is often being shared, too, which they see as unfair and unsafe to the consumer. To make this process as efficient as possible and to minimize mistakes, Google is using machine learning to execute this strategy. Apps are categorized by similar functionalities and any app with differences within that group is flagged for Google to look into further. As an example, Li quoted that Google might flag a coloring book app that is requesting and sharing a user’s location if no other coloring book app even requests this kind of data, especially since something like location would likely not be relevant to the success and functionality of a coloring book app. Google is also adding to their efforts to restrict data collection by limiting how frequently background data can be collected from a user within a certain amount of time.

Apple is taking a different approach to protecting user data, specifically location. James Hercher recently reported for Ad Exchanger that Apple’s new iOS update, due in September, will feature a blue bar appearing at the top of iPhone and iPad screens when apps are tracking the user’s location in the background. The update will include more options for users to control when each app is allowed to track their location. There will also be more restrictions for certain apps regarding location, such as only allowing apps one request to “always” track a user’s location.

These changes show a clear effort on both Apple and Google’s part to emphasize the safety of consumer data and each user’s experience overall. We’ve seen multiple instances of this new emphasis on the user rather than developers or marketers lately, including upcoming changes to the App Store and Google Play, that allow for more relevant and clear information to be displayed to users, further allowing for informed decisions to be made by users. In the end, both app developers and marketers are going to be held to high standards as these platforms continue making changes to accommodate the user and users will get the experience they deserve.

Customer Service and Consumer Re-engagement: Facebook Announces Next Steps with Messenger Ads

Post By Hannah Downing

Mary Meeker predicted it in her 2017 Internet Trends report and now we are seeing it: the shift of customer service to chat platforms. This is because advertising is shifting to chat platforms, as well. As reported in a recent VentureBeat article, Facebook recently announced that it will be extending its test of ad placements on Messenger to a worldwide audience. Let’s look at some of the benefits and things to consider of this emerging ad format.

One of the major benefits to this ad format is the direct access it gives businesses to potential customers from the ability to start conversations in the Messenger app through the ad. Facebook also reports that sponsored messages sent in the Messenger app will only be for businesses that the user has previously engaged with in some way. These aspects make this ad format very valuable, since reengaging potential or past customers can be difficult to achieve in general.

However, the ease and importance of conversations in this ad format means this is going to put great emphasis on each business’s customer service department. While this format could be great for generating leads and directing them towards converting, it could also backfire if a business does not have an adequate support team setup to handle whatever volume of conversations come their way.

Similarly, it is not clear whether the conversations that occur because of ads run in the Messenger app will factor into the rating of each business’s Messenger response time, as is often visible to users when they visit a business’s Facebook page. If this rating feature could be affected by the Messenger ad format, then businesses have even more reason to make sure their team is ready to handle the volume of conversations that may come through the app.

In the end, more businesses should consider advertising in this format, as the potential benefits are high, especially the direct interaction between businesses and consumers. This ad format could add more of a personal touch to advertising and the guiding of leads down the conversion tunnel, as well. If you’re a business that is not on Facebook already, join the 70 million other businesses and see if this ad format is right for you. Contact Oplytic to discuss and determine the best mobile marketing strategy for your company and if this includes Messenger app ads.

3 Reasons Why Push Notifications Should Be Part of Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Post By Hannah Downing

A recent study by Accengage points towards the great potentials Push Notifications offer. Not only did this study highlight the potential benefits, it also brings to light the multiple approaches to using Push Notifications. Considering these will help anyone looking to gain and retain users. Below are three reasons why you should consider Push Notifications in your mobile app marketing strategy, if you have not already.

1) Opt-in rates for Push Notifications, on both Android and iOS, are at high levels.

This can be seen in the average opt-in rate of 72% across both operating systems. As Richard Harris writes for App Developer Magazine, "...mobile users are more than ever interested in receiving Push Notifications." These high rates set up great opportunities for app marketers and developers to keep in touch with their users, especially since all Android users are automatically opted-in for Push Notifications when they download an app.

2) Reaction rates are doing well, too.

Android users have a very high reaction rate compared to iOS users. The average reaction rate overall is 8.4%, with average Android reaction rate at 12.2% and iOS at 4.5%. Harris partially attributes the high success rates of Android Push Notifications "...to the historical possibility to create richer formats...on Android." However, he also writes that iOS recently released the ability to use more formats within Push Notifications, such as images, videos, and GIFs. These new opportunities could help iOS reaction rates increase and catch up with Android.

3) There are multiple avenues to consider when it comes to Push Notifications.

Web Push Notifications and Facebook Messenger Push Notifications are among the newer options available for keeping in touch with users, and both have promising statistics based on Accengage’s report. Web Push Notifications allow consumers to receive notifications for websites they have visited and approved, without necessarily downloading the app. This convenience has led to an average 18% reaction rate, with E-commerce leading at an average 27% reaction rate. Facebook Messenger notifications are even better, with a 35% average reaction rate, probably linked to the fact that they show up right amid the discussion news feed, Harris wrote. However, this feature is fairly new, since Facebook has tested it, but is just now starting to roll out this option with a plan to complete it by the end of 2017

Overall, with multiple opportunities to choose from and the promising results so far, app developers and marketers should be considering the wide range of goals they could accomplish with Push Notifications and how to make these tools work best for them. Mobile app marketing companies, like Oplytic, can help them do exactly that.