Firefox push notifications notify the users of new push messages sent by the websites to their subscribers. Almost every website today is triggering web push notifications and sending an array of marketing and transactional communications to their users.

Be it for sending a blog post alert, abandoned cart notification, Welcome message, News flash, shipping status update, Flash sale alert, or just saying thank you for making a purchase, web push notifications have proven their utility in almost every business sphere today.

It’s an important marketing channel in today’s scenario, and you cannot just afford to miss out them from your digital marketing campaigns.   

Market share of Firefox

With a global market share of over 63.69%, Google’s Chrome browser is leading the race, and it too supports web push notifications across all its supported platforms. In fact, almost every popular web browser today supports web push notifications to stay competitive in the market. 

The global market share of Firefox may not be very impressive as compared with Google Chrome, but trust me, 4.64% is not bad either. It still makes up a huge populace of internet users across desktop and mobile.  

This article gives detailed information on how to enable Firefox push notifications for push marketing. Knowing the same will let you cover a big populace in your marketing campaigns. 

How Firefox push notifications work?

Websites must ask the users to grant permissions to send push notification through the browser. Firefox uses an opt-in box to add subscribers, which websites can set to trigger either immediately or after some time a user has landed on the site. 

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Firefox allows users to give three kinds of responses to the opt-in box. One, they can grant the permission by clicking “Allow Notifications”; Two, they can block the site’s notifications permanently by clicking “Never”; Three, they can ask the site to trigger the opt-in box again after some-time by clicking on “Not Now” option.

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Once permission is granted, the user data is stored in the browser as a subscriber. Now, a particular website can trigger web push notifications to the subscriber. Please note that Firefox can show notifications to subscribers in all of the following two scenarios: 

  1. While subscriber is actively browsing the site, or
  2. Not browsing the site, but the browser is active.

Note: Unlike Google Chrome Notifications, users cannot receive Firefox Notification when the browser is closed. 

Background of web push notifications in Firefox

Firefox push notifications are actually two different APIs working together: Web push + Notifications.  The web Push API facilitates the transfer of message or instruction over the web, while the Notification API triggers an alert to the subscribers of new messages or instructions obtained. A user can receive web push notifications or messages from only the allowed websites through the opt-in box.   

Websites use Mozilla’s Web Push Service to send web push notifications to the subscribers on Firefox browser. They need to install a Service Worker to subscribe a user to their notifications. This Service worker is installed on a user’s browser when granting the permission through the opt-in box.  

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The same Service workers can also be used by the browser on other things such as:

  • Opening an URL.
  • Synchronizing data in the background.
  • Registering responses to different resource requests from web services.
  • Collecting and synchronizing data such as geolocation, gyroscope from web services.
  • Pre-fetching resources to make loading fast. Ex. Pre-fetch pictures in a photo album.
  • Geo-fencing a geo-location to automatically trigger notifications.  

How do Firefox Notifications work on Desktop and Android?

On Desktop, Firefox uses Mozilla Push Service to send notifications. Whereas, it uses a combination of Mozilla Push Service and GCM to deliver Android Firefox notifications. In both cases, Firefox uses two randomized identifiers:

  • One to identify a browser and it’s permission to receive notifications
  • Second to identify the sites that are allowed to send notifications to a browser. 

The messages are encrypted under IETF Specifications. They can be decrypted only by the Firefox browsers allowed to receive them. The notifications expire after a specified time or after getting a Click-through. That’s why they get cleared off as soon as you click on them.

How users can enable/disable push notifications from a site?

A user can receive a notification from only the sites allowed through the opt-in box. The user continues to receive the triggered notifications until he/she is subscribed. However, a user can easily opt-out from or block a particular site’s web push notifications by following the below steps:

  1. Click the menu button  enable push notificationsand choose Options.

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2. Select the Privacy & Security panel and go down to the Permissions section.

3. Click the Settings… button next to Notifications.

push notifications what is

4. Select the website from the list and choose “Block” from the drop-down list to block the website.

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5. Alternatively, can also remove one or all of the websites from the allowed list by clicking Remove Website.

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Please note: 

  • If the user selects “Block” option then the particular website can never trigger opt-in box, until the user selects “Allow” again. 
  • If the user uses “Remove Website” then the site can again trigger the opt-in box to ask for allowing the notifications.

Pros of web push notifications 

    1. Instant Marketing Channel – Web push notifications get delivered instantly on the active browsers, even if the subscribers are not browsing your site. 
    2. Don’t need a mobile app: Web push notifications are triggered by the web servers. You don’t need a mobile app to leverage the power of push notifications in your business.
    3. No Spam Filters– web push notifications are delivered directly to the subscribers. There are no spam filters as in email. All notifications make it to the subscribers’ notification panels if the browser is active. 
    4. Cross-platform delivery – Most of the web push notification tools in the market support all popular browsers. You don’t need a separate tool to send Firefox notifications. A single push notification tool can be used for Firefox, Chrome, as well as Safari.
    5. Don’t need contact information– You don’t need a user’s personal information to send him/her web push alerts. This makes it easy to acquire subscribers who do not want to share their email address or phone numbers to sign-up to your newsletters.  



Over to You 

Hence, this is how Firefox web push notifications work on websites. If you too want to use web push notification on your website, you can simply purchase a self-hosted push notification tool or a SaaS-based push notification service. Both are beneficial in their own regards. Depending on your priorities and requirements, you can use either of the options to integrate web push notifications in your website. 

Author Bio:-

Marry Ann

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Marry Ann is a branding consultant for PushMaze, a service that lets you send trackable push notifications for users. She mainly passionate about building brands in all aspect of online marketing.