When running a contest on Facebook, collecting users Facebook userIDs and other basic info is an obvious thing to do. But what  happens to this data once contest gets over? Remember, this is a list of users who have already authorized your app. Facebook provides you a way to directly contact these users through personalized messages using Notifications.

Notification API

Notification API provides you with ability to send short messages (Max. 180 characters) to users who have already authorized your app. This notification is sent to user on behalf of your application. This is how it looks like

notification

 

On clicking on this notification the user will be taken to the Canvas URL of the app.

When can one use Notification API?

  1.  When Running a Multiple Level Contest, notify users about new levels in your application
  2. In score based game, notify user when someone/friend goes past users score.
  3. In a voting based app, notify users about votes they received, their current ranking, other friends entry.
  4. When launching a new contest, notify participants of previous contest. Though the landing page will be older contest, you can easily redirect user to new contest’s link.
  5. In turn based game, notify user when opponent finishes his move and so on..

You cannot send notification to users who have not yet authorized your app. So sending notification to you existing user does not make your app go viral. But It helps bringing a user back to your app, which in turn may help in getting new users.

A little more Info

Its important to create good content for Notifications. Hence, I would not suggest to spam a user with notification that would look like an ad. Below are some guideline defined by Facebook for maintaining quality.

No sending notifications to inactive users. (Users who have not interacted with your app in last 28 days)

Minimum click-to-impression ratio. (When sending high volume notification the CTI should be minimum 17%)

Notification API is in beta and only works on Desktop.

So next time you get your application developed look for places where you can integrated Notification API. But more importantly, also give your developer enough time to implement them ;)!!

Some Important Links:

https://developers.facebook.com/notification-guidelines/

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/games/notifications/

https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2012/10/26/notifications-api-update/

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