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Why You Keep Getting Useless Alerts on Your Phone

WSJ via MSN: “…A new type of notification is showing up on your phone’s lock screen and home screen, and within your social-media apps. It nudges you to view new posts or prompts to engage with trending topics, using language like “a friend posted a story,” “a group posted two links” or “people are reacting” to some viral post. It is made to look like a personalized and urgent interaction. It isn’t.Social-media companies are embracing this new type of push because people are posting and interacting less publicly on social media. They are also pushing more overall. While the number of notifications on any given app fluctuates over time, they have risen on nearly every major social-media app since July 2023, according to data from the app-analytics firm Measure Protocol. Instagram saw the sharpest increase, with users getting 12 more notifications in January compared with the previous July. Snapchat, X and Facebook also increased. Social-media marketers, psychologists and academics say the platforms’ pushes will likely lead to more interaction from users. But they say these companies are taking a risk by nudging with these types of alerts. “When it works, they will get your attention, even if it’s unwanted,” said Pamela Rutledge, director of the independent Media Psychology Research Center. “They can also create ill will.”

From personal to generic – The shift in strategy is partly because developers are treating alerts and notification pages more like news feeds, say social-media experts. “Even when you don’t post, there is always a notification waiting to be read,” said Neal Schaffer, founder of the digital-marketing consulting firm PDCA Social. “Apps are gamifying notifications to promote algorithmic content.” This recalibration of what is notification-worthy also serves as a revitalizing spark for accounts that might otherwise become dormant. Users who aren’t inclined to check their accounts might be swayed by mounting notifications.”

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