Are You Bothered by Product Recommendations for Your Installed Apps?

The only way to get stuff accomplished on a mobile device is through apps. As the saying goes, “There’s an app for everything.” And while having a variety of apps is great, sometimes it can be a hassle, like when they start sending you product recommendations via notifications. It can get annoying. We asked our writers, “Are you bothered by product recommendations for your installed apps?”

Phil notes that he’s just bothered by recommendations in general. Not so much with recommendations from friends or even from himself. But he’s bothered by two different recommendations and isn’t sure which is worse. One is targeted ads that offer you something you already bought or something you looked at the day before on a different website or different computer. The other is what he calls “Netflixisms” – A product or service recommendation that is totally way off base. These are the ones that say since you liked watching this show or TV, we think you’ll like this one, too.

When it comes to app recommendations, they fall into one of those two camps as mentioned above, dependent on the platform. In his experience “Google Play is the latter; iOS is the former.” But he realizes this is possibly because he’s been an iOS user longer than Android.

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Simon finds that recommended products related to his installed apps rarely catch his attention. Either the app he’s currently using does the job and he doesn’t want another app in the same vein, or he uninstalls the app because he didn’t need it and doesn’t want any more like it. If he likes an app and wants something similar, he’d rather “put more faith in a Google search than what an app store thinks I’d like.” He’d rather see the reviews and opinions on what others think of the app as well.

Alex says it depends on where he’s looking. He looks at Netflix as the “canonical example” and rarely finds their recommendations helpful since they changed to the percent match system. He also sees Amazon as incapable of recommending items that are actually relevant to him, with most recommendations being just different versions of what he has already looked at. However, with the iOS App Store, the search function is so awful, that the “Other Apps Like This” section can seem more valuable than a search.

I don’t get a lot of app recommendations on iOS. Usually any that I get are when I’m playing a game, and I get them via ads. Those can be annoying, and yes, bothersome. But I don’t get other notifications for the most part, and that’s great. If you’re talking about Netflix, it’s hard to trust those recommendations, as I’ve had my adult/teen children using my Netflix, so can’t trust recommendations based on what was previously watched. I just ignore them for the most part.

How do you weigh in on this? Do you appreciate getting app recommendations? What about streaming recommendations? Or do you not really get them very much? Are you bothered by product recommendations for your installed apps? Sound off below in the comments section and let us know!

2 comments

  1. I wouldn’t mind them if they were useful, but they aren’t. If I need an app for something I’ll do some research and choose the one I think will best suit my needs. Recommending more SSH apps after I install ConnectBot is pointless.

  2. “Product Recommendations”
    Why are we being nice and calling this scourge “recommendations”? They are nothing more than ads that are being force-fed to us. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it certainly is not a rooster.

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