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Better push notifications with channels and tags

Any app that serves large amounts of content needs a way to make it easily discoverable. Channels and tags combined with push notifications are the best way to do it.

July 07 2014

As we continue our series of blog posts about how you can increase your app engagement and spread the word about it, it's time to look into how an app's architecture itself can become an engagement resource.

Apps that handle and serve large amounts of content, such as news and sports apps, retail and e-commerce apps, need a way to make their content easily discoverable and available to the user. The best way to do so is to index the content using channels and tags.

Channels refer to different branches of content in the app structure – a news app can have channels for sports news, business news, lifestyle news etc., while a retail app can have channels for men's, women's and children's clothing. Channels can further be subdivided, e.g. sports news branch out into football, basketball, motorsport, etc., harnessing the app’s architecture for better segmentation.

Unlike channels, which are predefined as part of the app architecture, tags are a user-driven indexing resource, functioning pretty much exactly the same as tag metadata in blogs, media websites and other online resources. As keywords, tags can make content discovery in an app and within its channels much easier.

How does it work in practice?

Let’s take the example of a news app. Different news categories – news, sports, lifestyle etc. – are different channels users can subscribe to, and each of which branches out into sub-categories.

As the football World Cup is currently underway, many users want to keep track of the latest news, scores or game reviews. By subscribing to the World Cup channel, the user will get push notifications whenever there’s something new to report from the largest football tournament in the world – game announcements, match highlights, player interviews etc.  

Tags allow the user to further filter the subscription: adding the tag “Messi” or “Neymar” will trigger a push notification as soon as there’s news about the Argentina and Brazil star strikers. Of course, any other World Cup-related tags will serve the information they refer to through a timely push notifications.

Infobip’s push API and developers’ library come ready for any app that uses channels and tags for content discovery. If your app is not among them, maybe this will get you thinking about how to make it even better.

For more useful information on how to drive engagement rates of your app, make sure to download our whitepaper: 6 ingredients for an addictive app.