Facebook re-opens notifications channel for developers to send users custom messages

Facebook has launched the new Notifications API beta giving developers a way to reengage users with custom messages through the native notifications channel. These notifications are different from app requests in that users do not need to allow further permissions to receive them.

Developers will find many positives to this feature as it makes it easier to reach their users. However, they must beware of the possibility of overflowing users’ notifications channel. Facebook previously allowed developers to send notifications to users, but it removed the feature in early 2010 as a way to reign in spammy apps. This time around, the social network has put in more safeguards to prevent developers from abusing the channel.

Users can accept or decline these notifications and are given the option to opt-out at any time. Facebook encourages developers to test and monitor how notifications are performing through the notifications dashboard in Insights. Developers will get information on how notifications are being received as well as turn-off rates. Exceedingly high turn-off rates may be classified as spam and will be disabled.

The company encourages developers to be mindful of the language in their notifications, suggesting that high-quality notifications receive higher click through rates than app requests. Low-quality app notifications are more likely to cause people to turn off notifications for that app all together.