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Announcing Web Push Notifications on B.O.S – NEAR Protocol

Announcing Web Push Notifications on B.O.S

NEAR Foundation
October 4, 2023

Starting today, developers can better engage with their users thanks to Web Push Notifications on both desktop and mobile for applications built on B.O.S.

Apps and components built on the NEAR B.O.S have always benefited from in-site notifications to keep their users informed about relevant updates. Until now, these notifications were only shown within near.org (and other compatible gateways), meaning that users had to visit the website to see them. Now, users can opt-in to receive push notifications directly on their computers and phones about important events in their favorite apps. This way, users can be notified in real time, even if they are not actively navigating near.org.

Why are push notifications useful?

Thanks to push notifications, users can receive timely updates and information about their account’s activities in real time and through multiple channels. The increase in awareness also benefits application developers by encouraging users to return to the app, thus significantly improving user engagement. This way, push notifications help to tackle one of the biggest problems for founders in Web3: re-engaging and retaining users. Nowadays, user retention rates in Web3 fall short of the industry standard for web apps, which stands at a 35% retention rate after 30 days. Thanks to web push notifications, developers on BOS now benefit from a powerful new tool to re-engage their user base.

What will the notification experience look like on near.org?

On near.org, users will be asked to opt-in to the new push notification system on their desktop and iOS/Android mobile browsers. (To enable browser push notifications on iOS, users need to update their device at least to iOS 16.4 and will also need to add the near.org website as an app icon to their home screen – see link.) If the user accepts, they will automatically start to receive notifications for baseline social activities on their account. Users will be able to view all notifications in the notification center, and set their notification preferences via the designated settings menu.

For developers implementing components and apps, the new notification system is completely transparent. Apps that already leverage the in-site notification system will automatically benefit from web push notifications, meaning their users will also be notified on their desktop and mobile in real time.

For gateway developers, Pagoda is releasing a comprehensive guide on how to add web push notifications using a simple web service.

What are some examples of notifications I could add to my application?

Notifications can apply to any event that developers want to inform users about. Some examples of how  developers have used these are:

  • Notify updates on the status of a bid placed on an NFT marketplace.
  • Tell users that they gained a new follower.  
  • Inform of a reply to a comment on a discussion.
  • Any other on-chain action that is sent to the current notification system.

How do I learn more and get started?

The best place to start is by checking the official documentation. You can also check examples of apps sending notifications such as the LikeButton and FollowButton. If you have any questions or need to reach out to the Pagoda product team, remember that we have weekly office hours, and an active Telegram channel where members of the community can help you. 

What’s coming next?

Stay tuned! Pagoda plans to release additional notification features later this year, including support for more granular notification settings and safeguards to manage notification volume for users on near.org. They will also be exploring support for near.org notifications via email.


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