Uber is testing ads in the form of push notifications

Uber has identified a new source of revenue in the form of advertisements it can display within the app during use. But it looks like these ads won’t just stay in the app, as the company has already begun testing slightly more aggressive ads. These can be sent through your phone’s notifications system, displayed on the lock screen, or even while using other apps. Basically, if you have the app installed on your phone and have notifications turned on, you’ll be exposed to ads from Uber.

Uber users could see ads on their phone screens, even if they’re not actively using the app

At the moment it’s just a test, which appears to be taking place in the US, but usually these tests foreshadow changes in apps. Already several users have reported that the iOS app has been sending ad-like notifications promoting products from Peloton, the company that sells sports training equipment for the home.

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The ads in the notifications are properly marked, being preceded by the word “Ad,” but Uber users aren’t very happy with this tactic. For one thing, some users complain that the ads are sent at inconvenient times, such as early in the morning. Secondly, Uber is not a free service. Every ride you take through the app is for a fee, and most of the time lately, fares are higher than standard due to high demand in crowded cities. So showing ads within the app and even through notifications doesn’t seem as bearable as showing ads from Google or Waze.

TechCrunch says Uber representatives said this was a limited test and that users can control the types of notifications they receive from Uber. However, it’s unclear if you can only turn off ad notifications, or you have to turn off all of them, including the ones that tell you if the car you ordered has arrived.

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