The push notification, which appeared on Thursday afternoon, linked to story about a man who was offered a job at a high profile motoring magazine after selling his car.
Many subscribers of the BBC News app were confused about why the alert for the piece, which was published in 2014, had suddenly appeared.
They took to social media to express their befuddlement.
Steve Script said: “Notifications from @BBCNews are getting a bit weak."
Another Twitter user said: "The @BBCNews app appears to have randomly sent out a notification on a story about a Swedish man getting a job from 2014."
Another person added: "Hi @BBCNews, as thrilled as I am for this Swedish man and his new role, I'm not convinced it counts as breaking news...?"
BBC News app has just reported breaking news that a Swedish man has found a job. Brilliant journalism.— John Darning (@ModerateConcern) May 4, 2017
The BBC later said the message was a "test" which was "inadvertently" sent out.
A spokeswoman said: "A test message on the BBC News app was inadvertently sent out to subscribers.”