Social network giant Facebook has rolled out a feature that will let users receive push notifications directly from Google Chrome even when they don't have the Facebook App (screenshot below). The feature takes advantage of Chrome’s Push API for delivering the notifications. The feature is not activated by default though, so you need to enable it manually. To do this, open Facebook in the Chrome browser and sign-in using your account. After logging into the social network, the browser will show a pop-up asking whether you want to enable it. Once enabled, you will start receiving push notifications even if the page is closed in the browser. The feature can also be disabled anytime by simply logging out of the Facebook or from Site Settings options in the Chrome app.
Since the the space required by the Facebook app on Android runs into hundreds of MBs, this feature could prove to be really useful for those who have low storage space on their smartphones. It also means that you won't have to worry about updating the Facebook app intermittently. Additionally, users who prefer the mobile website more than the app will also find it handy. Facebook reportedly has 655 million users who access it from only mobile, which is approximately half of the total number of users that the social network has.
As mentioned in the beginning, Facebook’s new feature is taking advantage of Chrome’s Push API, which was made available by Google with the version 42 of Chrome, in April this year. Google had announced then, that Facebook, eBay, Pinterest, Product Hunt, etc. would be the early adopters of the feature. But the one challenge which Facebook has to tackle is to avoid duplicate notifications. As reported by TechCrunch, the feature is an addition to existing services like Facebook app, Facebook Lite, Opera and others that deliver push notifications to users. This means that while you check the notification through one medium, it is either not updated, or at the very least, takes some time to be updated, in other media. Facebook software engineer, Nate Schloss said it could get annoying. At the moment, the companies are hoping to come up with ways to limit the duplicate notifications by detecting what someone’s favorite interface is, and thus delivering a notification only there.
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