Using RSS feeds to trigger push notifications

Joel Oliveira
Joel Oliveira
Aug 1 2022
Posted in Best Practices

Easiest way to keep your website's visitors up-to-date

Using RSS feeds to trigger push notifications

This week, I would like to talk about one small, yet powerful, feature of our Automation add-on, the RSS Push Channels. If you are running a blog, this is the perfect feature to effortlessly transform any new blog post into a push update.

But what is a RSS feed?

On the web, a RSS feed is a data format used to provide users with a full or summarized text and metadata of frequently updated content. Websites or content distributors in general, syndicate these feeds that can then be consumed by news aggregators. These aggregators make sure they constantly poll new information from these feeds so users don't have to, and provide updates when new content is available.

RSS feeds have lived through decades of the internet and have even been declared dead many times, but in fact, many platforms (just like Notificare) have found new ways of using RSS feeds such as to keep up with podcasts and Reddit forums.

For example, at Notificare, this is what we use to update our website visitors when a new blog post is published (just like this one). With this feature, all you need to take care of is to add a new item to your RSS feed (most Content Management Systems (CMS) automatically manage this for you), and Notificare will automatically transform that new item into a web or app push notification.

Setting up your first RSS Channel

All you need to get started is the URL of your RSS feed. In Notificare, you will also need to select a recognizable name (so you can easily manage feeds) and paste that URL:

Optionally you can also customize the polling interval, by default, we will poll every 15 minutes but you can decrease it to 5 minutes or increase it to 24 hours. It all depends on your needs and how often your content is updated.

After that, you should select the type of push notification you want to generate:

If you are not familiar, with Notificare, we provide different types of rich push content and depending on what your RSS feed content contains and what kind of experience you want to offer, one of the types available should cover your needs.

We also provide two different types of mapping mechanisms:

If you simply want to use all the items in your feed and send any new items to a certain audience, you can pick the first option and select the audience you want to reach:

If instead, you would like to send only certain items (assuming your feed supports categories) to certain groups of users, you can then choose the second option:

This will allow you select which groups receive certain types of content based on the categories you assign to your feed's items.

Finally, to start polling new information, don't forget to enable your newly created feed:

As soon as a new item is added to your feed, we will automatically generate a push notification which will keep your users up-to-date whenever you update content in your website.

Simple, right?

Using this feature is pretty simple and can allow you to easily automate how you promote all that hard work you put into managing your blog. It's also the most effective way of bringing your visitors back whenever new content is available.

Although this might be the most common use case, this feature can also be used to automate how you generate alerts in native mobile apps, where RSS feeds can be a no-code solution for your messaging strategy.

If you would like to see all this in action, don't hesitate and create a demo app today. As always, we are available via our Support Channel for any questions you might have.

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