American Marketer


55pc of millennials find messaging app notifications most useful: report

August 20, 2015

Millennials find messaging app notifications most useful Millennials find messaging app notifications most useful


With 78 percent of consumers saying that the majority of push notifications are not relevant to them, a new survey from Delvv suggests that the heaviest users – millennials – are being bogged down by excessive, poorly targeted information.

The application developer’s Mobile Overload Survey found that nearly half of millennials are super-checkers who look at their phone more than 50 times per day. However, with 81 percent of millennials preferring tasks that last five minutes or less, it is crucial that the right information reaches them on the first try.

“The big takeaway from a mobile perspective is that 78 percent of respondents say the majority of push notifications aren’t relevant to them,” said Raefer Gabriel, cofounder and CEO of Delvv. “App developers and marketers are now using these notifications so frequently they are largely being ignored like email notifications have been.

“The survey results found that millennials use more apps and receive more push notifications yet still report they’re less overwhelmed than older generations – presumably because they have grown up in an era of constant interruptions,” he said “While older cohorts of users indicated they are just as dependent on their smartphones, they are more overwhelmed by constant push notification interruptions.”

Information overload

The findings suggest that adults in the United States are increasingly being bombarded with irrelevant information on their smartphones. This makes it more difficult for marketers to get their messaging heard.

Not surprisingly, millennials have the highest smartphone penetration, with more than 85 percent owning one.

Pointing to the integral role that these devices play for these consumers are findings such as that 51 percent cannot go more than three hours without checking their smartphone and 37 percent will immediately go home and get their smartphone if forgotten.

The Glean mobile app

Millennials are feeling the effects of information overload on mobile more than other consumers, with 90 percent manually organizing information on their smartphones, or using some tool to help them with this task. In comparison, only 49 percent of all respondents manually customize push notification settings for their apps.

It could be that millennials are feeling mobile overload more because more than half of them are super-checkers compared to 35 percent of all respondents who look at their phones more than 50 times per day.

Messaging apps

Underscoring how messaging apps are resonating with millennials, 55 percent find notifications from messaging apps to be most the most useful.

Additionally, 84 percent of consumers consider their smartphones to be an integral part of their lives.

Delvv points to a 2014 study conducted by the University of California, Davis Center for Neuroscience supporting the idea that mobile users are experiencing information overload. That study found that users retain more information when there is a good match between their interests and the material in question.

The company is interested in how consumers engage with content on mobile as it has developed an app called Glean that learns about users' interests and scours the Web to find interesting news, apps and events.

“The survey results make a case for having users opt in for more frequent communications versus opt out,” Mr. Gabriel said. “For many users, frequency and engagement are negatively correlated.

“It is true you can manually curate push notifications and organize all of your apps, but always pushing that burden back on to users is likely to create negative effects,” he said.

Final Take

Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York