How many times are people interrupted by push notifications?

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How many times are people interrupted by push notifications?

Thank you for your question about the frequency of push notifications per user, worldwide. Some of my most useful sources included Localytics reports and the Business of Apps website.
The short version is that people in the US receive an average of 45.9 push notifications per day, and North Americans receive almost 3 marketing push notifications per day on their phone. Below I go into more detail.
-Data I found was rarely world-wide, and in fact since smartphone and Internet usage varies a lot by region, world-wide averages probably wouldn't always be useful. However, I didn't limit myself to any particular region.


In the US, people using smartphones receive 45.9 push notifications per day, on average. See below for my calculations:

To calculate the number of push notifications per user, per day, I've looked at the average push notifications per app, multiplied by the average number of apps per person, over the average amount of time people spend using those apps (on their phone):

Since Q1 2015, the average number of push notifications per app is 51 per month. BiznessApps got this stat from a Localytics 2015 report, which was based on world wide app usage and on apps that have integrated push messaging across both iOS and Android.

In the US, people use 27 apps in total, on their phone, on average. (Q4, 2015). That figure has changed little over the last few years.

According to Business of Apps, adults in the US in 2015 used apps for 5.6 hours per day (mobile for 2.8 hours, desktop or laptop for 2.4 hours, and other for 0.4)

Total notifications per month: 51 x 27 = 1377
Total notifications per day: 1377/30 = 45.9
Notifications per hour for mobile: 45.9 / 2.8 =16.4 / hour while using the phone

Further, in North America, MARKETERS are sending 671 million push notifications to phones each day, peaking at around 6-8pm each day, with 58 million pushes at around 6.30pm. Given that there are 229.3 million smartphone users in North America, that averages to 2.9 marketing notifications per day per person.

In CANADA: The average apps per person was 19 in 2015. Using the same calculations, that would equate to an average notifications per day of: 32.3 push notifications per day on the phone.

In the UK: The average apps per person was 50. Using the same calculations, that would equate to an average notifications per day of: 85 push notifications per day on the phone.

Note: I searched for the average apps per person in the following key countries, and found no data: Australia, China, and Japan. Most stats available were on the number of connected devices per person, or time spent on various activities or devices.


Though we don't know all the push notification frequencies per region, this information could be useful. Opt in rate (rate at which people enable/permit push notifications from an app) per region:
Europe: 41%
Asia: 43%
North America: 40%
Oceania: 40%
Africa: 43%
South America: 44%


Unfortunately, there was no public information on the frequency of notifications or alerts for social media specifically, but you may find this data useful:

For US smartphone users, the most popular notifications were for 1) Missed calls (92%) 2) Texts (88%), 3) email (81%), 4) mobile app updates (67%), 5) social media (65%).


US smartphone users who get news notifications:
Often: 13%
Sometimes: 23%
Hardly ever: 18%
Never: 44%


For US smartphone users getting news notifications, there was no difference by age group. Those receiving news notifications were: 18-29: 54%, 30-49: 56%, 50-64: 56%, 65+: 49%
Of those getting news notifications, those who clicked through by age were: 18-29: 48%, 30-49: 46%, 50-64: 47%, 65+: 48%

Hours for app usage by age per month did however vary considerably -Smartphone app monthly hours, United States:
18-24: 90.6
25-34: 82.5
35-44: 73.1
45-54: 57.5
55-64: 40.7
65+: 39.8

There was very little information on gender use or frequency of push notifications, however, I did find that 86% of millennial men compared to 79% of millennial women act on push notifications.


Over 52% of app users find push notifications annoying, according to a Localytics survey. Part of this annoyance may be related to the fact that over 35% of push notifications are generic broadcasts to all users. 26% of people said they find push notifications good -alerting them about things they are interested in, 20% said they were productivity enhancing, and 2% said "other".

In terms of how many push notifications, per week per app, users thought were too many: Survey respondents said that between 2 and 5 messages in one week would cause 46% of them to disable push notifications. 32% said they would stop using an app if they received 6 to 10 messages in a week  (Note this survey was focused on push notifications from companies, as opposed to social media alerts).

Some people are showing their distaste for push notifications in their actions: 30% of people in one survey disabled all mobile push notifications and 50% only opted into receiving push notifications from their favorite apps.

A study found that push notifications are as distracting as phone calls: 150 students participated in a sustained attention test, and researchers found that any kind of audible interruption negatively impacted their performance.

Further, psychologists say that constant notifications are a "toxic source of stress". A UK study of 2000 workers from various industries found that there was a strong relationship between use of an email push feature and perceived email pressure. That pressure was highest among young people, then decreased with age. Those working in IT were also the most affected, with 30% receiving over 50 emails a day.

People are receiving around 32-85 push notifications per day, from a range of sources, including marketers and email. One the one hand, people appreciate personalised, useful information, but on the other hand these interruptions are causing stress, especially when they are work related. Thanks for using Wonder! Let us know if we can help with anything else.

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