Web Push Notifications in Chrome 59: What Has Changed?
Update: The stable version of Google Chrome currently out there is Chrome 62. The changes mentioned in this post are applicable to all versions of the browser that follows Chrome 59.
The stable version of Google Chrome 59 was released in early June, 2017. As with every version, there are tweaks in the user experience. So what do these tweaks mean for your Web Push Notification channel?
The New Mac Experience
Until now, each one of your subscribers received and viewed Chrome notifications in the same way regardless of whether they were on Windows, Linux, or MacOS. However, from this version onward, Web Push Notifications will adopt the native notification interface for users of MacOS. And this is how things are going to change for them, and for marketers and businesses.
1) The regular no-frills notification
The Change: The image or icon will move across to the right side of the notification as you see below. All notifications will now carry the Chrome logo on the left. The ‘Settings’ and ‘Close’ icons are now replaced with buttons for the same functionalities.
What it means: This will help subscribers easily identify between web push notifications and other native notifications from applications and such.
2) Notifications with CTA buttons
The Change: The CTA Buttons are no longer rendered with the push notification. The subscriber has to click on the ‘More’ button to view them. You can see that the ‘Settings’ option is also accessed by clicking on the ‘More’ button, in this case.
The Likely Effect: Since this requires one more action from the user, it is likely that you’ll see a drop in the number of clicks on these buttons. This is all the more reason to ensure that you assign your most important landing page to the body of the notification itself.
3) Notifications with Big/Hero image
The Change: Your subscribers on MacOS will no longer be able to view the Hero Image when the notification is delivered.
Our Recommendation: However, they’ll be still displayed to your users on Windows and Linux. So don’t hold back from including more visual cues and images to your notifications.
The Extended Cut
While these are how your notifications will be displayed on your subscribers’ screens, there are going to be changes in the way they interact with the notifications too.
1) Closing notifications
Recipients can close the notifications by either clicking on the ‘Close’ button or swiping the notification to the right. In the first instance, the notificationClose event may fire. It doesn’t, if your recipient swipes it.
2) Muting them
The ‘Do Not Disturb’ rules you apply at an OS level, applies for web push notifications too. This means, users can now stop them from appearing when they are in screen-sharing or mirroring mode.
3) Looking at older notifications
This is possibly the most important change for the sender and the receiver. Subscribers can now revisit older and important notifications, any time, in the Notification Centre. Push Notifications aren’t ephemeral anymore, for this section of Google Chrome users.
These changes mean a more standardised look and experience for and from web push notifications. It also means more emphasis on personalisation, segmentation and other best practices that give you an edge over others. Let’s see how this plays out.