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Facebook can notify Android users via Chrome, as well as its app

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Facebook has just flicked the switch on notifications via Chrome on mobile. Previously, if you wanted the social network to send you updates, you'd have to have the Facebook app installed. Now, if you browse to Facebook's site with Google's mobile browser, you'll be asked if you'd like to receive notifications (or not). At least on Android, for now. If this sounds familiar, it's because Google announced the planned feature back in Spring, only Facebook (by far and away the biggest notifier of anything?), finally added the feature this week.

Web notifications are important for sites like Facebook and content providers generally, because it adds a way to reach users without requiring they install an app. In some cases, that's a way to give users a taste for the extra layer of "stickiness" an app provides; in other situations -- like developing nations -- it's a way to overcome obstacles such as variable access to data. There's another group, curmudgeons like me, that find the lack of notifications on a mobile browser a plus -- you can still access the site when you want, without any alerts or pop-ups. Whichever camp you're in, you have full control under Chrome's settings to turn them on or off at any time.

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