(Experiment) Content notifications

Sebastian Kaspari s.kaspari at gmail.com
Mon Apr 4 08:07:33 UTC 2016

Good news, everyone!

I just enabled the first content notifications (bug 1238087
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1238087>) experiments for
some of our Nightly users.

*What are content notifications?*
We'll show users a notification if new content is available on a supported
site they care about (Screenshot
<https://bug1238087.bmoattachments.org/attachment.cgi?id=8723718>). The
goal is to let users discover new content and improve app engagement.

The notifications can be disabled in the new "Notifications" section:
Settings -> Notifications. Seeing the "Website updates" entry in there is a
good indicator that you are part of the experiment. If you want to know
what experiment exactly your Nightly installation is part of then you can
use the Switchboard Experiments Add-on

*How do we know which sites users care about?*
We will start with the simplest indicator: Bookmarks. If a user bookmarks a
supported site we take this as an indicator that the user might be
interested in updates from this website. This is something to experiment
with. Clearly "visits" might be a strong indicator too. For more see bug
1253290 <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1253290>.

*Which sites are supported?*
We start with support for blogs on Medium, Blogger and Wordpress.com.
Adding new ones is quite easy and there's a bug for adding at least Tumblr
support <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1258988>. Suggestions
are welcome.

*What are the experiments we are running?*
75% of our Nightly users will have content notifications enabled by
default. Those 75% are split equally over those experiments:
* Check for content updates roughly 12 hours after the app has been used
the last time
* Check for content updates in the morning around 8am ("Commute to work")
* Check for content updates in the evening around 5pm ("Commute from work")
In these first experiments we are interested in learning about the best
time to notify about new content: Is time important and is there a time
users prefer to engage with new content?

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