Introducing Web Push Notifications

Starting with Chrome 50 and Firefox 44 you are able to send push notifications to your website users, even when they are not browsing your website.

We have integrated this new feature into the Realtime Cloud Messaging Pub/Sub service to make your life easier.


You probably noticed that your browser asked if you allowed notifications from this website. If you accepted you are already subscribed to your own private channel to receive notifications.

Your channel is: ...

This was performed through the new subscribeWithNotifications method in the Realtime JavaScript SDK.

Demo time! Clicking on the following button will send a new push notification to your private channel (only you'll see the push).

You should see a Chrome or Firefox Push Notification pop-up like this near your system tray (the first push may take a little more time to be delivered due to the underlying Firebase Cloud Messaging backend configuration).


This example uses a private channel for each user so you can send pushes at will, without annoying other users. A typical use case in a website would be using a global channel and subscribing each user to that channel. This way you could broadcast a single push to all users simultaneously. It´s powerful but should be used wisely.

Cool! What if the user is not browsing the website when the push notification is sent?

No problem, if an instance of Chrome or Firefox is running users will see your notification pop-up inviting them back to your website. If Chrome or Firefox is not running the pop-up will be shown as soon as the browser is launched.

Let's try it. Copy the following curl command and navigate away from this website. Paste the command in your terminal window and send yourself a push notification. When you receive it click on the pop-up and you'll be redirected to the Realtime homepage.

The command above is simply sending a Realtime message to your private channel (the C parameter) using the Realtime REST API. The Realtime server will take care of broadcasting it to Firebase Cloud Messaging for delivery.

One push, many platforms

But the good news won't stop here. Taking advantage of the Realtime Cloud Messaging integration with Firebase Cloud Messaging for Android devices and Apple Notification Services for iOS/OSX devices, now you'll be able to send one single push to your entire user base in almost all platforms. Until now you could only do it with native mobile apps, now you can do it also for your website users.

This is great! How can I get started?

You'll find this example source code and starting guide at

Feel free to clone it and run it in your localhost or website.

Follow the guidelines and in less than one hour you'll be engaging with your website users. Go for it ...