nearby notifications

Google is killing the Nearby Notifications feature due to spam

Three years back, in 2015 Google introduced a nearby notification features along with some other really cool location-based services. The feature was part of Google’s vision to help users discovers new apps and content based on the location, time and usage history. For example you would get a nearby open wifi notification or if you are visiting a new place, the feature will show you the relevant app/services as a notification.

It meant to enable android devices to communicate and collaborate based on the contextual information they have. It helped users to discover what is around them without having a need to download and install any app. While the intent was to be super helpful for users, marketers and spammers found their way to use this to promote their products or apps. According to Google, which led to poor user experience. In a blog post, Ritesh, Product Manager at Google, says, “Our goal was to bring relevant and engaging content to users – to provide useful information proactively. Developers have leveraged this technology to let users know about free Wi-Fi nearby, provide guides while in a museum, and list transit schedules at bus stops. 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. ”

Nearby notifications was one of the Google’s best effort to bring information to the people based on the location, time and usage history. Google Assistant also offers similar preemptive recommendations, as an entire predictive app in Android P called Actions and Slices. Google will stop delivering Eddystone and Physcial Web beacon notifications but developers would still be able to access the beacon dashboard and can deliver proximity based experience to nearby notifications.

Critics and Android Users didn’t welcome the act. They insist that Google should filter the whole spam thing instead of just pulling the plug on the whole service. What do you think? Please write down your views on this in comment section.

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