Facebook has just revealed that it’s taken advantage of Google’s new feature allowing websites to send push notifications through the Android version of its Chrome browser. This means Facebook users can choose to notifications about updates on the social network directly in the mobile browser, even if the Facebook app isn’t installed on their mobile device. This was the result of collaboration between Google and Facebook, with a goal of developing a new standard for web notifications.
Facebook explains that one goal with the notifications through Chrome was to give users a unified experience of the social network, meaning those using the mobile website have the same features as those using the native app.
While many of us may not care one way or the other, especially since we are used to native apps, the real benefit of this change is for those in developing countries or those with strict data caps. The native Facebook usually has an install of over 200MB, along with another 100MB or more of cached data. This can also be a problem for devices with limited storage space.
The advantage of using the mobile website is that it often runs faster while using less data. Until now, the main disadvantage to this has been the inability to be notified of important messages or updates.
To enable Facebook’s notifications through Chrome, Android users need to be running the latest version of the browser app. After that, they simply need to go to Facebook’s mobile website on Chrome at m.facebook.com and sign in. A request will pop up asking for permission to send push notifications, and users just need to tap “allow.” To change the setting later, tap on Chrome’s three-dot button for the menu, and go to Settings > Site Settings > Notifications.