Why it matters: When it comes to Apple’s guidelines, it looks like a case of “do as I say, not as I do.” The Cupertino company is sending out promotional push notifications to former and current Apple Music subscribers—a tactic it disallows in its guidelines.
As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple recently started sending out mass push notifications to lapsed Apple Music subscribers, targeting users who canceled their memberships or never signed up after the initial free trial.
The push notifications, which included slogans such as “we’ve changed” and “it’s not too late,” offered people a second 3-month free trial.
Following this promotion, Apple again used push notifications as a way of enticing more people onto its streaming music app. This time, it was current subscribers who received the alerts, informing them that they could gift a friend one free month of Apple Music.
While some Apple Music subscribers might appreciate these offers, it’s hard to image many former subscribers welcoming them. But the biggest problem is that they appear to break Apple’s own App Store guidelines, which state that push notifications “should not be used for advertising, promotions, or direct marketing purposes.”
As noted by The Verge, this isn’t the first time Apple has used its own apps to promote its services. The firm sent push notifications to iPhone users in December, telling them they should watch its latest Carpool Karaoke show featuring Kendall Jenner. Unsurprisingly, this annoyed a lot of people.
While turning off notifications for specific apps is easy enough, that doesn’t excuse Apple for sending them without people’s consent, and in apparent violation of its guidelines.