Chrome 80 and Push Notifications

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Written by Tamara Jelic

Chrome 80 and Push Notifications

Good news for Chrome users, Chrome 80 and Push Notifications have some changed policies we should discuss and work through.

Many found this news disturbing, many gave up on the Push Notifications, but let’s just calm down and see what we have here.

Before The Chrome 80 Update & The New Stuff

When the Push Notification industry started, everyone was head over toes about it (this kinda rhymes), and everyone who visited a certain website could have been asked to receive a push notification subscription, and this didn’t depend on the preferences or anything.

Many companies profited from this feature and it seemed that every company from the affiliate industry was leaning towards this amazing stream of income.

Plot twist, this new update came as an improvement for the user experience regarding asking for permissions.

What happens now is, not every user who visits a certain website will have the option to receive push notification subscriptions. This will all depend on the preferences of the user. The update will be released on February 4th, 2020.

So, What’s Happening after the new Chrome 80?

Here is the full explanation by Pete LePage, and here’s a hint:

Notifications are a critical part of many apps. But, push notifications are only as reliable as the network you’re connected to. While that works in most cases, it sometimes breaks. For example, if a calendar reminder, notifying you of an important event doesn’t come through because you’re in airplane mode, you might miss the event.

Notification Triggers let you schedule notifications in advance so that the operating system will deliver the notification at the right time – even if there is no network connectivity, or the device is in battery saver mode.

Pete LePage blog post, see above

There will be some blocking included. Chrome 80 and the ”Quite UI” will block subscription requests for push in accordance with the user’s behavior or the website’s performance.

Saved From The Click

In simple words, users who frequently block push notifications from various sources will be saved from clicking the Block button. Chrome 80 will do it for them. If the user should like to receive push notifications further, they will have to manually remove this block to enable the push notification subscription request again.

Another automated block is for websites with low opt-in rates. Visitors who come on a certain website and click Block on native opt-in frequently will no longer have to click this button because the browser will collect more data with this Chrome 80 update, and it will block websites that uses push notification for malware and spammy ads.

A New Shiny Button

There will be a novelty in the settings area, where the user needs to change the block option for all push requests using the Quite UI. So, manually – they need to change this option if they want to receive push notifications.

The user will see an indication in the URL bar that ”Notification is Blocked”, and this will be visible on both desktop and mobile.

Why Did This Happen?

Many companies were pressing the panic attack button on this one for sure. Google was certainly under pressure for the privacy concerns, before and for sure after the Chrome 80 release. But with this update, they wanted to improve readability and enable better communication as for notifications.

So the emphasis was on security fixes right – 5 of them to be precise. These fixes will prevent a potential attacker to install programs, change, view or delete data, create accounts with full user rights, accept notifications, etc.

Non-technical users were the target as for the notification spam. This, of course, happened because of many websites that have been spamming their users.

Also, Cookies – before, all cookies were shown, but from Feb 4th, Chrome will only load cookies that were created on the same domain (first-party cookies).

Will Push Notifications Die?

Ah, the great question. Let’s answer this immediately – No, it will not die. With the new Chrome 80 update, many have lost their faith in Push, but we don’t see it this way. The best way to prepare for this is to have a backup plan of course and add some value to it. This is too big of a thing to be shut down immediately.

Here Are Some Guidelines

Our industry is all about adding value. So make sure you trigger the opt-in on the user by deriving value. Google actually gave some good advice here as for the permission section – the best practice is to prompt the user as you see them getting value from your website. For example, if you have an eCommerce website, you may present this as a way to inform them about discounts.

Use Single Step Opt-in (Native Op-tin) – this is actually more convenient for higher push subscription rates, but some users will not fully understand why they clicked allow.

Take the time to show the opt-in. Make sure you add sufficient delay before you ask for permission. What is good is, you may also trigger this when the user scrolls down to a certain degree. This way, you are sure that the user is reading or going through your content. Make sure you configure these differently for mobile and desktop. Do some tests first.

Testing will help you with monitoring. Check out the decline rate and prevent this ‘penalization’. There are tools to help you with this one. Actually, there is a blog from Push Engage that can help you with this one. Let us know how that turned out for you.

Furthermore, If You DO Get Blocked…

There is another button that can help. If you do get blocked by users or get blocked by the browser in general, users will of course not receive notifications. BUT – You should consider adding a Get Notification Widget on your website. This button should remind the user that they can receive notifications – and encourage them to do so. Make sure you set this widget to work properly, where it will trigger the Opt-in again.

Where to put it you ask? This depends on your interface. Just make sure you do it separately for Mobile and Desktop.

Tamara Jelic

Tamara Jelic

Head Of Business Development at Coinis Ltd


Part-time researcher, part-time marketing enthusiast. Wanted to be a teacher, ended up working for the best ad tech company in Eastern Europe.

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