Google Policy Update: Promoting my new apps using Status-Bar notification


Firstly, I’m thinking that it will not be permitted for me to send push notifications from my server to my old apps to promote new apps, but I’m asking to make sure. Could you tell me your opinion?

Secondly, I’m also promoting my apps using in-app Ads (banners and interstitial). And to increase in-app Ads impressions, I’m planning to send weekly notification telling the use this message for example: “Enjoy using app XYZ”. When user clicks on the notification, the system takes him to open my old app. In my old app I will use enter and exit interstitial Ads to promote new apps. Is this notification legal?


As Long as its in-app, its OK. They should ideally allow devs to promote their own apps through notifications. Its not a advertisement per say

As long as the notification leads directly to your app/game and is related to the app/game in some way.
e.g. “Your energy bar has fully replenished” or “You haven’t checked your stats for 1 week, check now!”. I’m planning to add some to my next game.

How do you plan to implement it ? Using UrbanAirship or ?

I haven’t looked into it yet as it’s going to be one of the last things I do (pretty big game).

Do you have any info about those two entities you could share?

Don’t Do this. One of the developer who was using this as spam to promote their other apps and have multiple apps trending all the time got banned.
(To be clear significant number of their accounts got banned but they still have some more accounts and now they stopped the spam).

My attempting to “understand push by reading just this article” has not yielded great results - for the most part I am confused about how it is done. With Google (I think it was Google’s new Game Services stuff) what I understood was that you specify the users who will get a push notification (how do you do that - unless you are making a database of users all along).

EDIT: plus I think I read that it is limited to 3000 users at a time - I don’t remember if this was Google or one of the other services …

Then I read something on and (two of the oft-mentioned alternatives to Google Game Service’s push stuff) - and they seemed equally obtuse.

That made me wonder if the other programmer-created alternatives - where push notification is app-generated (perhaps timed to it’s time of installation, or “first notification after 3 days” etc.). And that would need some type of Alarm/BroadcastReceiver etc. stuff - seemed slightly more understandable - but again requiring examination to see which of the seeming-alternatives would be best supported.

In any case, for some things like reminders for user to use app again - or for indication that they have just “earned X amounts” and should revisit the app again - WOULD seem to be better served by an app-resident way of notification (and not a system-wide “wake-up” as a push notification from Google/urbanairship/parse would suggest. Not thought about this enough to have a clear idea yet.

HOWEVER, just saw this article some days back and have kept it for later perusal - this seemed to ACTUALLY explain how to use parse and from cursory reading seemed not too difficult to do (and has a working project which may do wonders for understanding it):
Android Push Notification Tutorial
June 15 2013

Feedback on it’s greatness/effectiveness/success as a tutorial would be appreciated.

I think Google allows use of push notification to remind user of progress/changes within the app itself. So a blatant appeal to user to use the app again could be camoflaged in any number of ways as an “alert: you have been awarded 100 coins” - or perhaps even “this new feature is now available - please update app”. That would be completely within the Google guidelines one would think.

However, such stuff should probably be used sparingly - as could rapidly piss off users - however one may only need to give say just ONE reminder to a user (for the lifetime of a user) - and that may be enough to improve stats by 20% or so (without really being an irritation to user).

A slight negative may be that a reminder to user to use the app again (even if sugar-coated as a great award/improvement) may also trigger a small percentage of users to UNINSTALL the app - not just because they don’t like notifications, but because they were reminded that “here is one app I am not really using - why am I keeping it around” (but then these users are just helping improve install/uninstall ratio which may help with Google rankings - but are not really using the app).

One possible use of app maybe to announce a new feature which would TRULY make it more desirable in users’ eyes (even for those who have installed it and then not using it).

In short, do the right thing without spamming users and the developer will do well?
No Arguments there.

I am most likely going to be sending pushes based on local factors and not via a system wide service. I can imagine something like Parse would be great if you just released a critical update or you are running a special offer or something of that nature though. Definitely worth considering I think.

The line between push notifications hurting user experience and helping user experience is probably quite thin. I downloaded a game called “Pou” to study their use of in game currency and noticed that it uses push notifications related to content within the game. They were sending too many pushes for my liking though, although admittedly I am not in their target market. If you could set higher or lower frequencies depending on user engagement with the app/game I believe you could get quite pleasing results, although that would probably be quite a task.

Not sure if you guys understand the new policy about Push.

Sending a push notification about your game/App such as Claim your Free 100 coins or Your castle has built or your army has been defeated or Today Only Sale, 50 coins - This is All good since it’s directly related to your app. When the user clicks on the notification, your app opens.

Sending push notifications about your other games as cross promotion or advertisements or anything else not related to your app/game or it opens a browser etc is NOT ALLOWED

Where did we discuss anything un-related to the app? :S

Is it possible to sell with in app billing something from my application (such as the paid version :slight_smile: via notification?

As long as it’s something within your app then it meets the policy.