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The hidden cost of free push notifications services

Pushpad offers a free tier, but it's not a free service. So why should you prefer a paid service to a free one?

More features? Better support? I don't know, I leave that to you. The aim of this post is to underly that free services might have an hidden cost that you must consider before making a choice.

Most of the time we don't read privacy policies, but in this case I suggest that you take some time to read, because you might find sentences like this:

Sometimes the SDK Information may be combined (by us or ad and data platforms we work with), to perform any of the above functions, or other advertising, marketing or analytics services.

Since the business of the Service is based on data collection and analysis for advertising purposes, you must consider that data collected on your website might eventually help your competitors.

Consider the following scenario:

  • you sell some kind of goods or services online - let the product be “exotic plants” for example
  • you install the SDK provided by the Service on your website
  • the Service tracks your customers behavior and knows they are interested in “exotic plants”
  • the Service gives your data to an advertising platform
  • the advertising platform shows targeted ads to your own customers, promoting other stores online that sell “exotic plants”

In my opinion, after all it’s like giving the list of all your customers to the competitors. And this in many cases might not be the solution with the lowest cost.