Google to disable Nearby Notifications following three years of complaints of spam advertising

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps
After years of users complaining about spam and irrelevant ads, Google will finally shut down the Nearby Notifications system on December 6th. Google said that the service did not meet the "high bar" the company holds to when delivering a user experience and will be shuttering the feature this winter.
Sam Medley,

Google had such high hopes for Android’s Nearby Notifications system. Sadly, it looks like those hopes have crashed and burned in spectacular fashion; the feature will be shuttered this December due to years of being plagued by spam and advertising.

In case you turned them off years ago and forgot what they are, Nearby Notifications are notifications that pop up whenever your phone comes close to a designated location. Google rolled out Nearby Notifications in 2015 in an effort to “provide useful information proactively.” Think of uses like a cafe announcing they have free WiFi, or a museum announcing discounted tickets, or a state park detailing a historic event that happened years ago.

Instead, it seems that most merchants and marketers have used the service to push out spam and other useless advertising, all without the drudgery of using an app or browser. Instead, when Android users would come near a venue, marketers could push worthless and non-relevant ads to their phones.

In a blog post earlier today, Google said that the service did not meet the “very high bar for the quality of content that [the company delivers] to users.” As a result, Nearby Notifications will effectively stop on December 6th of this year. Google will no longer deliver the beacons used for Nearby Notifications after that date. This will only affect systemwide notifications; marketers and merchants can still use Google’s Proximity Beacons API to deliver location-based content via a specific app.

While it’s sad to see a feature that showed so much promise decline so badly, at least Android users will be able to walk through Downtown without their phone buzzing every five seconds.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 10 > Google to disable Nearby Notifications following three years of complaints of spam advertising
Sam Medley, 2018-10-26 (Update: 2018-10-26)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.