In Praise of Push

Technologies often swing like a pendulum from enthusiastic discovery, to overuse and then back to moderation. We’ve seen this broadly with web technologies in the past and as mobile matures, we see it with push.

Excitement surrounded the launch of the new iPhone. Push introduced a way for app developers to reach out and communicate with users directly from their app. Pretty revolutionary stuff. Developers weren’t sure how to leverage the power of the technology, so a lot of trial and error occurred. This experimentation helped us better understand how and when to use push to best meet our objectives. Of course, some overuse or misuse is an inevitable part of the process. I’m going to say it “yes, working with technology can be messy.” This experimentation often brings out the critics. Which is funny because it’s also the moment that advocates for best practices emerge and we change how we use a technology.

I believe we’ve reached that point in the evolution of push. Developers have seen what works and what doesn’t and that information is moving through the developer community in the form of best practices. You’ll find Urban Airship is one of the biggest advocates for the appropriate use of push. One Urban Airship customer who “gets” push is Burton Snowboards. They send out fresh snowfall alerts to their users. This is smart and effective. You see this done in email marketing and social media. Delivering valuable information to your users, builds trust and goodwill.

Push has matured and it’s a great place to be. There is real value when push is used to engage and delight our customers. At StackMob, we’ve recently partnered with Urban Airship to offer push through our Marketplace. We believe combining Urban Airship amazing push service with the StackMob Platform will benefit both developers and their customers.

Sidney Maestre is a Platform Evangelist for StackMob, a leading development platform for mobile developers. His mission is to educate developers about the StackMob platform through presentations, articles, courses and tutorials both online and off.

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