Browser push notification - What is it and How does it work?

Browser push notification - What is it and How does it work

The journey of technology is quite a long one, but even more importantly, it is quite an odd one. App developers have started off by blowing our minds with all the features that they would throw in new software programs and apps. However, modern features have now taken a turn to cater our ever-evolving demands, while web developers know exactly how to help us stay connected, even when we might have forgotten to do so. Push notifications are one example of how our use of smart-phones has made our lives easier.

For instance, if you do not have your messaging app open, and one of your friends messages you that they are going to play soccer at 7 p.m., you get notified about the time and date of the event without having to check your app. This very convenient feature is known as a push notification. However, the developers have taken it up a notch and created something that is known as a web push notification as well. Here is all you need to know. 

What Is It?

Similar to a push notification, a web push notification works to notify you without having to manually check an app or website. The difference is, you are not getting notifications from your app, but instead receive messages from the web. The ‘concerned website’ will leave you a message on your desktop, while the web page does not need to be open in your browser. This is great for individuals or businesses who want to reap the fruits of a push notification without having to manually launch an app.

Web push notifications are a relatively new and experimental marketing feature, which works to re engage business websites with their  visitors without needing any of their information. So, if you deliberately avoid putting in your email or other contact details, the website will still be able to reach you. However, this can only happen if the website itself is an SSL site (https).

How Does It Work?

When you visit a website and a pop up requests that you have to click allow, from that point on, your device will receive information about the website’s products or services. This is great because it means that without having to download an app, you can keep yourself updated with the news on this website. 

This works even better if you are on the other side of the funnel, where you can make full use of this feature by assembling an audience who is actually interested in what you have to offer. However, you must make sure that they remain interested as well; the web developers over at urge the importance of treating your audience with impressive and useful content, alongside your use of web push notifications. This should act in your favor, where the audience members will be compelled to connect with you.

That said, the way this nascent marketing tool works is very interesting. Here is the breakdown split into two steps:


  • Step 1


The first step is taken by a user who grants the push service provider access to send notifications. The service provider will then provide you with an application server, which sends the push message. This is done through something that is known as an FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging). FCM is a service from Google that allows you to reliably send your browser push notifications. Two types of messages can be sent through FCM, which are notifications and data messages. This service comes at no cost.


  • Step 2


Now that you are done with step 1, it is time to wait for the magic to work. The thing is, FCM does not work as soon as you fire it up, as it first sends a message to the service worker. This message and its content will be processed by the service worker, where they then display the notification of this feature to your target. And to clarify, ‘service worker’ is not a person, but a script that runs in the background of a browser while doing countless other things. And now, you are done!

A browser push notification is definitely still a new concept that is constantly evolving. It is perhaps the most innovative and the cheapest way to connect with your audience. It cancels out the need of downloading an app for the service, and it also reaches a wider market through the browser. Apart from that, it is a very seamless process that does not need any contact information at all, which can be appealing to a lot of people. 


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