Uber recently launched its new advertising department and in-app ads. Obviously, these ads don’t stay in the app.
Instead, ads from other companies are sent as push notifications, much to the chagrin of some Uber users. Over the weekend, people took to Twitter to complain about the notifications, sharing screenshots of adsincluding a particularly popular one from Peloton that Uber sent. One of the main complaints: notifications are sent when users are not engaging with the app.
When Uber first announced its “experiment” with in-app ads, the company didn’t mention the potentially intrusive implications.
Uber told TechCrunch that this “is a limited test, and users can always manage their mobile notification settings in Privacy and then Notifications in the app.
The company did not respond in time to TechCrunch’s questions, including how many users are included in the test, whether it tracks data on how many users turn off push notifications, how long the test is planned to last, and whether Uber will fully implement push notifications in the future.
Uber’s in-app ads feature one brand for the entire ride. So-called “journey ads” allow brands to show the user different ads at three points in the journey: while waiting for a car, while driving, and upon reaching the destination. Brands can “personalize” ads for each user based on their travel history and geographic destinations. It’s also unclear whether Uber used the same type of data for its push notification ads.