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Google is about to kill off spammy Nearby Notifications

Google has announced that it is killing off Nearby Notifications, because it has detected “a significant increase in locally irrelevant and spammy notifications”.

Nearby Notifications, which are supported by handsets running Android 4.4 KitKat and above, have long been considered a nuisance by users.

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They were introduced back in 2015, and were supposed to provide useful information to users as they went about their day. As Google explains: “Nearby Notifications helps users to discover what’s around them, by surfacing location-specific notifications for apps and websites, with no prior app install required.”

In other words, it was only ever going to be a matter of time before marketers started using the feature to spam users. Especially when Google promised that Nearby Notifications would help them:

  • Drive app installs
  • Drive consumers to content about nearby products
  • Drive checkins, reviews within local/travel apps

Google has now decided that enough is enough, and Nearby Notifications will be killed off on December 6.

“Three years ago, we created Nearby Notifications as a way for Android users to discover apps and content based on what is nearby. Our goal was to bring relevant and engaging content to users − to provide useful information proactively,” the company wrote in a post on the Android Developers Blog.

“Developers have leveraged this technology to let users know about free wifi nearby, provide guides while in a museum, and list transit schedules at bus stops.”

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The post continues: “Earlier this year, we noticed a significant increase in locally irrelevant and spammy notifications that were leading to a poor user experience.

“While filtering and tuning can help, in the end, we have a very high bar for the quality of content that we deliver to users, especially content that is delivered through notifications. Ultimately, we have determined these notifications did not meet that bar.”

Are there any other Android features that get on your nerves? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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