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All modern applications require a push notification strategy. Introduced for iPhones in 2009, push notifications have since become a ubiquitous part of user experience across all digital ecosystems, with all platforms and operating systems supporting push notifications to enrich the user experience. As a result, numerous push notification systems have emerged, with varying features and capabilities. Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) is one of the most prominent, but are there better alternatives?
Support for push notifications across all platforms is a boon to marketers. Push notifications are the best tools to engage users and the most cost-effective method for increasing user engagement. As they’re supported by all popular platforms, businesses can use the technology to connect with their user base.
Even so, this poses a significant challenge to developers as they have to implement push notifications across the different platforms, which can be a tedious process. As of now, there is no standard methodology to integrate the technology across platforms and the structure, procedure, and syntax to deploy the technology are varied. This requires significant time and effort from developers and coordinating and managing the various push notification standards will become cumbersome for developers in the long run.
As is the case with most problems, the free-market is where we find solutions. Businesses were built solely with the aim of solving the problem of integrating push notifications for all platforms. There are push notification services that aggregate the push notifications for each platform, which helps to integrate push notifications to any app with a few clicks or lines of code.
Push notification service providers take care of all the mundane tasks involved in handling the backend processes for push notifications across the platforms. This makes the task of developers and marketers easy as marketers can use a simple dashboard to send push notifications across different platforms. Notification service providers also provide APIs that developers can use to automate push notifications to users.
On top of making things simple, push notification service providers also provide additional functionalities. Some of the most common features provided by push notification service providers are:
Firebase Cloud Messaging, previously Google Cloud Messaging, is one of the most popular notification service providers available, as it Integrates all the different platforms available for push notifications and is easy-to-use for both marketers and developers. FCM also has all the features one expects from notification service providers, including all of the features mentioned in the previous section. In addition, there are additional features like remote config and strong integration with other Google suites. Users can also start using the service free of charge.
This makes FCM a worthy consideration as a notification service provider, but it also has its fair share of drawbacks. Some of the notable cons of FCM are:
The main problem is that FCM forces the users to be dependent on their platform, giving all the negotiation power to Google. This makes it a difficult proposition to use FCM, even with the advantages that come with it. However, there are much better alternatives for FCM.
Many notification service providers, such as Amazon and Twilio, offer all the features of FCM without many of the drawbacks. However, the FCM alternative that stands apart from the rest is from MagicBell. This service offers a complete notification system, including notification inboxes.
When a company uses other notification service providers, they have to build their own notification inbox and the feature sets associated with it. But MagicBell offers all the features of a push notification service as well as a notification inbox. The notification inbox is designed with the intention of giving more power to the end-user to control the type of notifications they receive.
MagicBell supports push, email, and in-app notifications and in a manner the user prefers. It offers a real-time and seamless experience for users with strong multi-channel support. Better yet, developers can integrate the MagicBell solution with their application in under 15 minutes. All the additional functionalities of MagicBell on top of FCM make it a worthy consideration as an FCM alternative for your application.