Firefox, Chrome try blocking spammy website notifications to enable seamless browsing


Browsing the internet often gets us face to face with annoying website pop-ups that asks to send notifications, which we do not want to grant. This is a problem that Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox engineers have begun trying to fix.

Website notifications can prove to be useful as an alert from a web-based calendar about an upcoming meeting or as an important message on your web-based chat, nevertheless, the notification that pops up asking us to register our accounts in order to get weekly newsletters are simply annoying. Mozilla conducted a month-long test where it found that people using the beta version of its Firefox browser denied such request 97 percent of time.

As a result, Mozilla and Google are working on blocking notification permission requests until there is a better alternative.

Firefox engineer, Johann Hofmann said in a blog post that Mozilla’s Nighty version of Firefox has blocked all notification requests as a part of a two-week experiment, which will stop pop-up notifications from showing up unless the browser has clicked or searched something on the browser. Google is also reported to be “looking into many strategies to tamp down on this,” including monitoring our engagement with the website before permitting the requests, as was tweeted by Chrome standards guru Alex Russell.

Adopting the web from its initial design as a repository of documents into a foundation for apps is a difficult task which is being reflected by the move from Google and Mozilla. With a dynamic web, users can access things like messaging and social media, nevertheless, the interactivity makes it harder for the websites to maintain a balance between powerful and pushy.

While browser makers have been interested in doubling up the power of the browser, they are not keen on seeing it abused. One website might profit every now and then when we decide to grant permission to the pop-up notification asking for a survey, or, newsletter subscription. Overall, however, such requests can become a menace and might ruin the web-browsing experience

Browsers are getting the ability to run apps–called progressive web apps, or PWAs–and notifications are a central part of this technology. But PWA movement’s attempt to avoid spammy notifications is outdated by the notification technology, Russell said. A Chrome crackdown would try to fix that, he said.

“My current starting place is to make push notifications a feature of super high engagement score,” Russell tweeted. “Basically [if] it isn’t installed as a PWA, [website developers] won’t get the ability to ask.”

Browsers are getting more assertive these days to the dismay of website developers. Browsers are coming in with features that cut off the wings of websites that are based on pop-up notifications and full-screen ads. Reading mode removes website clutter, Safari, Brave and Firefox are removing the technology that is used by advertisers and publishers to track us down around the web.

Last year, Firefox got the ability to block all notification requests from websites. That option isn’t protecting people by default, Hofmann said.

It is not clear how website notifications are going to present themselves in the future, however, with the browsers cracking down on websites on what Hoffman calls “permission spam” would result in us seeing fewe pop-ups.





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