Hello to you as well, Starbucks

A screenshot of a random “hi” notification from Starbucks.
Screenshot: Chris Welch / The Verge

I’ve become almost numb to the deluge of notifications that hit my phone every day. But when an app sends a simple, very human “Hi!” message, apparently that’s enough to stop me in my tracks. And Starbucks just sent exactly that push notification to god knows how many devices a few minutes ago. For what purpose? Who knows?

Just hi. No other context. A random hello on what’s (here in New York) a dreary, rainy Tuesday. So I tapped. Doing so just brought me into the Starbucks app without any special destination or obvious promotion attached to the prompt.

Starbucks has sent out accidental notifications before. So it’s fair to question:

  1. Was this some dumb stunt? Or was it yet another test notification that went to the wrong audience?
  2. Did Starbucks even send it, or did someone manage to fire off a rogue hello — potentially to millions of people?
  3. What does it say about the state of mobile notifications that this is the only one that stood out to me today?

The Verge has reached out to Starbucks for more details on this critical news. I’m not one to be rude, so hi back, whoever you are.

But I’ll be turning off notifications from the app now. Because this is a perfect example of just how loosely the privilege is being used.

Source: The Verge Hello to you as well, Starbucks

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