Uber Is Using Push Notifications to Send Out Ads

Ads from other companies are being sent out even when users aren't engaging with the Uber app

The Uber Eats and Uber app on a phone against an Uber map background. uber has started sending out ads as push notifications to some users.
Would you like to receive ads when not using an app? Uber thinks you do.
STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Now that Uber has started advertising, it apparently thinks you want ads all the time. Per TechCrunch, the rideshare service is now apparently sending out ads from other companies even when users aren’t engaging with the app.

As originally planned, ads on Uber were supposed to be for a single merchant and only seen three times during a trip: While you’re waiting for a car, as you’re riding and when you reach your destination. But users complained on Twitter this week that the app was actually sending push notifications for these ads when not using the app.

An Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch that these notifications were “a limited test and users can always manage their mobile notification settings under Privacy and then Notifications in the app.” Note that you have to opt out because absolutely no one would apt into this kind of digital intrusion.

Uber launched its ad division and Journey Ads experience earlier in October, with the goal of making it more than a $1 billion revenue opportunity by 2024. Brands on Uber’s apps can personalize ads based on a user’s travel history and geographical destinations, which again, feels intrusive. If these ads could subsidize the cost of your ride, all might be forgivable — but right now, these “limited” intrusions seem only geared toward annoying riders and increasing Uber’s bottom line.

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