Facebook is tweaking its development platform to allow third-party applications to communicate directly with their users by sending notifications to their profiles, according to Facebook official Bo Zhang.
A new Notifications API (application programming interface), now in beta testing, will allow developers to send “short, custom” messages to users of their Facebook applications.
“Notifications are a great way to re-engage users by informing them of important events, invites from friends, or actions they need to take in your app,” Zhang wrote in a blog post.
Once a Facebook user has linked an application to their account, the application will be able to generate these notifications without additional permissions from the users.
However, users have the option to decline notifications, and opt out of receiving them altogether, according to Zhang.
Facebook advises developers to monitor and analyse data on the notifications they send via their Insights dashboard, which will show how often notifications are accepted, declined and completely turned off by users.
“You should watch Insights closely to make sure your notifications are well received by users and not in danger of being shut-off,” Zhang wrote.