Often, while you are browsing the internet, you might have come across a notification, perhaps from a website you visit regularly, related to the kind of information you consume or might be interested in. Called web push notifications, these are alert-style messages which websites can send to a user, whether he or she is browsing the internet on a desktop or on a mobile device.
The only conditions these alerts have to meet before they pop through on your screen is that you must be browsing the internet through a browser and the sender must have your permission before sending these notifications. You may also think of these notifications as a gentle nudge to visit the sender’s website for any information or event which could be relevant to you. For example, the message could be about an ongoing sale on your favorite shopping website. How do web push notifications work? Are they any different than app notifications? Let’s try and understand more about this modern method of marketing.
How Do I Know It’s A Web Push Notification?
Depending on the operating system your device uses and the browser you prefer, these notifications generally appear at the top of the screen or at the bottom right-hand corner. On a mobile device, web push notifications appear identical to notifications served by the apps which you have installed. Depending on permissions allowed for your browser, web push notifications on a mobile device can also be displayed on the lock screen or when you are using the phone for something else, other than browsing the internet.
What kind of information does a web push notification contain?
A typical web push notification will include information in the following format:
- Title: Will include the brand name in most cases
- Content: The message which the notification aims to deliver. For example, it could be a news website trying to grab your attention by mentioning the headline of some breaking news
- URL: The push notification is embedded with the URL which will route the user to the sender’s website, once the notification has been opened or clicked upon
- Identity: Generally the brand’s logo
- Browser Identity: This will include the logo of the browser which has sent you the notification
How Do Web Push Notifications Work?
Any website which wishes to send users a push notification needs to install code from a web push service. There is no requirement for an app or any special modification to the website’s base code
As A User, How Do I Opt-In?
You could be browsing a website and might come across a prompt from your browser, asking you if you wish to receive web push notifications from the website? This is called a browser-level prompt. Various websites use different methods to serve these prompts. For example, some websites could serve the prompt at the very moment a new user visits the site. On the other hand, some websites might wait until a visitor has browsed through a set number of pages before they serve the notification. Some might also prefer a ‘soft opt-in’, which first lets the user know about the value of receiving such notifications before the browser can ask for permission to serve a proper web push notification.
Which Browsers And Devices Support Web Push Notifications?
Most major browsers including Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera support push notifications. However, the final list depends on the vendor you choose. Most computers running Windows or Mac OS support web push notifications. On the other hand, when it comes to mobile devices, iOS devices currently do not support web push notifications, even is a browser that supports them is in use. Devices that run Android do support these notifications for users who have installed either Chrome, Firefox, or Opera browsers.
What Are The Requirements For A Website To Implement Web Push Notifications?
Websites that wish to send such notifications generally get a web push service to implement the service. The website which wishes to implement the service must be a secure (HTTPS) website. If that’s not the case, an HTTPS page has to be created to handle web push notifications. A couple or more files have to installed on the website and if the brand decides to implement a ‘soft opt-in’ before the browser sends the notification, a separate UI has to be developed to achieve that.