Remember Apple News?
Just a refresher: it’s the one-stop news app that Apple replaced Newsstand with as a way for publishers to get their content distributed directly to people’s iPhones while keeping the ad revenue. “News has the latest stories, articles, and posts, with over a million topics to choose from,” Apple said at its launch in June.
What it doesn’t have is an active user base.
On Twitter, iPhone owners have recently noticed a push alert in their Notifications tab from the app begging people to open it. It’s not working. People are publicly calling it “spam” and subjecting Apple to a few sick burns:
So, Apple really wants me to use News and its “Top Stories” section. Got this notification in my 6s Plus and 5. pic.twitter.com/sn1zzdEZii
— e4io (@poke493) December 16, 2015
Apple News notification. This is spam, plain and simple. pic.twitter.com/jMYuOU44RF
— Mike Ciarlo (@mciarlo) December 16, 2015
Apple, thanks for sending me a push notification to remind me that News app exists. Now I’ll go back to ignoring it. pic.twitter.com/At8r0idTNs
— Natan Gesher (@gesher) December 16, 2015
hmm… i just got an apple news notification on my mac. I don’t remember setting that up.
— Μικιυας (@mikiyas_t) December 10, 2015
apple better gtfoh with that news notification
— Juansito (@ElJuanitooo) December 16, 2015
So, if people haven’t already moved Apple News to the junk folder where Compass, Health and Stocks live, at the very least these pop-ups remind them to do so.
Apple didn’t immediately respond for comment as to why it’s doing this, but it’s clear that News isn’t resonating with people or publishers.
“The traffic is underwhelming,” a publisher exec told Digiday, pegging the monthly traffic it garners from it at less than 1 million views. Another publisher called the user data “basically nonexistent,” adding that the whole experience is a “disappointment.”
Still, it’s early. Publishers like the design of the sleek app and they understand that forming new user habits takes time. So, while these pop-ups are bothersome, they’re one way for Apple to appease publisher frustration.