Earlier this year, Google updated the Android and desktop versions of Chrome to allow a range of popular websites — including eBay, Pinterest, and Vice — to send you push notifications. Now Facebook has joined that list. The company announced last night at its @Scale conference that users of Facebook's mobile site will be able to choose to receive push notifications in Chrome, the result of work between the social network and Google on a new standard for web alerts.
People in emerging markets often access Facebook through its mobile site
Nate Schloss, Facebook software engineer, said that the new notifications are part of the company's intention to give all users the same social networking experience. Being a mobile-first company doesn't mean being mobile-only, he told The Verge — Facebook wants to give users on the mobile web as many features from the native app as possible. Schloss says the introduction will be particularly useful for users in parts of the world with lower data caps, who are unable or unwilling to regularly access Facebook's dedicated app. "In developing countries, a lot of users access Facebook through the mobile site, not the Facebook app. We want them to keep coming back, and push notifications get them their important messages."
Jonathan McKay, product manager for Facebook's browser partnerships, told TechCrunch he'd already seen an increase in visits from users after rolling out the push notifications. In addition to Chrome, other browsers are adopting push alerts. Opera already supports web notifications, as of August, and Google says Firefox will introduce them in November.
Correction, September 15th: This article has been updated to clarify Schloss's comments about the mobile web.