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Notifications API Update

October 26, 2012ByCharles Jolley

In August, we announced a beta of the Notifications API, a way for developers on to communicate directly with their users through the notifications jewel, and published guidelines to help you create compelling notifications. Today, we are sharing some of the early results from developers and announcing improvements that make it easier for you to optimize and maintain the quality of your notifications.

As an increasing number of developers use notifications, we've found that those who focus on sending high quality notifications to active users, as we suggest in our guidelines, are seeing click through rates of 25% or higher, which is significantly higher than rates typically seen for other direct response channels such as email.

Games like KIXEYE’s War Commander and's Candy Crush Saga, and apps like TripAdvisor have seen high engagement with their notifications as a result of their quality implementations. For example, War Commander sees a 30% click through rate for notifications it sends to users when their base is attacked.

Maintaining a High Quality Channel

As we mentioned when we launched this API, notifications give you control over how you communicate with your users. As adoption grows, we want to maintain the quality of notifications to ensure users will continue to pay attention to them.

Features such as our opt-out controls have helped improve notification quality in the past, and, starting November 9, we are introducing two new quality control measures for notifications:

  1. No sending notifications to inactive users. Apps should only send notifications to users who have visited their app in the last 28 days. Data shows that user engagement drops sharply after this time and raises the risk your app will be flagged as spam.
  2. High volume senders must maintain a minimum click-to-impression ratio. Apps sending a high volume of notifications must maintain a minimum 17% click-to-impression (CTI) ratio on notifications. Our data shows that apps with a CTI of 17% or higher will keep users coming back for a longer period of time. If your app dips below this threshold on a weekly basis, we may block access to notifications for your app.

For more in-depth details on how these two quality control measures work, see our notifications documentation.

Measuring and Improving Your Notifications

We highly encourage you to use Insights while refining your techniques for sending users notifications. You can find and evaluate your CTI ratio in the Traffic dashboard of Insights.

Additionally, we are introducing a new feature to help you improve user response to your notifications. You can now separate your notifications into groups and track each with a custom ref parameter to evaluate performance. Read more about this new feature in our documentation.

With these new quality controls and tools for analysis, we hope that notifications remain a high value way for apps to reach users directly with messages that they will find relevant, useful and actionable. Check out our documentation to get started with this powerful feature right away.