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Last update: August 2019

3 mins to read

Twitter Snooze Feature Lets You Temporarily Mute Push Notifications

The world of push notifications can be a difficult one to navigate. If you don’t hit that sweet spot of perfect frequency, timing, and relevance to the user, you run the risk of having your app’s notifications turned off. Both Android and iOS have introduced upgrades that make it easier for users to mute their push notifications. But never before has this type of feature come from an app itself. Twitter has bucked the trend by testing a new Twitter Snooze feature, which lets users temporarily mute notifications.

What Is Twitter Snooze?

Twitter is known for bringing in various test features for a period of time. Twitter Snooze, initially discovered by software engineer and app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, will allow users to silence Twitter notifications for one, three, or twelve hours.

Wong discovered the feature while looking into the code for Twitter’s Android mobile app. On the user end, it can be implemented by tapping on the bell icon. This will bring up the options of what time period you want to mute notifications for. Notifications will continue to appear in your in-app notifications tab. But you won’t receive any push notifications for the length of time that you selected.

According to Wong, who is waiting to hear back from Twitter for more details about this feature, the popular microblogging platform has only recently started building the code for it. It has yet to be released to users platform-wide.

More Importantly… Why?

It may boggle the mind to think of a mobile app deliberately giving their users the option to silence notifications. After all, notifications are a mobile app’s lifeline, and the most effective way of communicating with device users. However, it’s clear that Twitter isn’t exactly hurting for users – as of 2019, 326 million people use Twitter every month. And that’s even after recent bot purges and the introduction of Europe’s GDPR.

Twitter, infamous for being one of the angriest places on the internet, has recently undergone a campaign to promote the wellbeing of its users. A recent test feature, also discovered by Wong, offered users the ability to moderate replies to tweets by hiding toxic or unsavory tweets. It’s likely that this is another step in Twitter’s wellbeing campaign.

And while everyone loves that quick dopamine hit that comes with notifications, if a post goes viral on Twitter, it can reach thousands or millions of viewers. This means nonstop notifications from likes, replies, and retweets that can go on for days. And sure, that might be a great self esteem boost, to know that your hot take on climate change, or your contribution to the latest meme (30-50 feral hogs, amirite??) has sparked so much discussion. But you know what else is great? Sleeping.

feral hog
Sleeping with the sweet abandon of this fine, handsome feral hog

What’s Next For Twitter Snooze?

In the wider scheme of things, experimenting with user wellbeing features is a shrewd move for Twitter, who don’t need to worry about lack of user engagement. The Twitter snooze feature offers users a measure of autonomy over their notifications. It is a much-needed middle ground between getting swamped with notifications and turning them entirely.

For mobile apps who aren’t as comfortable in terms of their market dominance as Twitter, it’s important to go easy on push notifications. Depending on what the function of your app is, keep your number of notifications sent per day below 10. And with that constraint, it’s key to make sure you’re sending users notifications that are useful, interesting, and relevant to them. After all, if you send users valuable information, you’re more likely to get valuable engagement in return.

OpenBack offers a push notification platform that allows you to send push notifications as often or seldom as you want. Our SDK gives you the tools you need to choose the right moment to send your notifications, so you will never have to worry about harassing your user, or pushing them to delete your app. Read through our blog for some helpful tips on how to cultivate user engagement with a responsible push notification campaign, or contact one of our experts for more information.

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