Push Notification Character Limits: Tips to Be Visible

Kseniia Petrina

Marketing Specialist

August 23, 2022

Have you ever heard about 50-word stories? This format of fiction, also called a minisaga, was invented by the Daily Telegraph newspaper. The story must consist of exactly 50 words and contain the plot development. This is not only a great exercise in creative thinking but also an opportunity to participate in various contests. 

This kind of practice is familiar to marketers working with push notifications. However, they are limited to 50 characters, not 50 words. And they have to come up with an effective catchy text. The prize is the customer's attention and, as a result, conversion. 

The snag is that short text may not be short enough. Sometimes, appealing elements in Chrome don’t look right in Safari. Operating systems and browsers display pushes (their content and the text length) differently. This guide contains best practices to help your push messages look good on any device. 

Mobile Push

There are two important things you should know about character limitations in mobile push messages:

  1. Expanded notifications display more characters than their preview. It means you don't have to limit yourself by the number of characters displayed in a collapsed push.
  2. Your text should be catchy enough to make clients expand the notification or immediately go to the app, even if some words are hidden. 

To expand a notification on iOS, the user needs to press and hold a push message for 1 second, on Android – click on the arrow or pull a message down. Let's take a closer look at the nuances of displaying notifications on mobile devices.

iOS

Mobile Push, iOS
Mobile Push, iOS

Text

iOS displays 178 characters in a push without truncating its text. It is advisable to stick to 25-50 characters in the title and up to 150 characters in the message body. Otherwise, the content won’t fit into 4 lines and won’t be fully displayed in the preview. An expanded message can contain about 7 lines of text. 

Rich media attachment

iOS allows you to engage users not only with interaction buttons and images but also with video and audio. Rich content in push notifications supports the following file formats: 

  • Image: JPEG, PNG, GIF, up to 5 MB
  • Audio: MP3, M4A, AIFF, WAV, up to 10 MB
  • Video: AVI, MP4, MPEG, MPEG2, up to 50 MB

Images and videos are displayed in a 1:1 or 3:2 ratio.

Buttons

You can offer your customers up to 4 action options using buttons, each of which contains about 40 characters.

Android

Mobile Push, Anroid
Mobile Push, Android

Text

The title length displayed without truncation is 65 characters. For a message, it is 240 characters.

Note that push notifications on Android have one unique feature: they can contain an icon different from the app one and a large banner. There are patterns between the text length and the presence of a banner and an icon.

  • If you only use an icon, your preview will fit 8-9 characters less than without it.
  • If you use only a banner, the title and description will contain 1 line each. They should consist of 38-40 characters.
  • If you use both an icon and a banner, the title and description will have 1 line each in the preview and expanded messages. The number of characters displayed will be 30-35. 
  • If the message contains neither an icon nor a banner, the expanded message can have 365-444 characters. This is about 9-13 lines of text. It sounds good, but in fact, the user is unlikely to be interested in reading a lot.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 (the minimum size is 80x80px and the recommended 192x192px). The supported file formats are JPG and PNG.

Images

The recommended aspect ratio is 2:1. The supported file formats are JPG and PNG. 

Buttons

Up to 3 action buttons are supported. They are arranged in a row, not one above the other, as on iOS. Thus, the more buttons you add, the shorter the calls to action should be. Here are the maximum character values at which the button copy will not be cropped:

  • 1 button – 46 characters;
  • 2 buttons – 20 characters;
  • 3 buttons – 11-13 characters.

Web Push

Chrome on Windows has gotten extensive web push capabilities compared to other browsers:

  • the ability to add action buttons;
  • the large area for displaying images;
  • the most extended length of the title and content before the text is truncated. The character limit doesn’t change depending on whether you have added an image/icon or not.

The latest versions of Chromium engine browsers such as Opera and Microsoft Edge also support large images and buttons. But don't fall into a trap when creating a push notification! Creators often focus on its attractive appearance in the mentioned browsers while other browsers truncate some text and don't display banners or buttons.

Reteno can help you avoid such confusing moments. Our message editor allows you to see a preview of the created notification in different browsers and operating systems. 

Preview of messages in the Reteno editor
Preview of messages in the Reteno editor

Also, you can send a test message and additionally check its display on your actual device.

Below in this article, we have given a cheat sheet on the anatomy of web push messages in different OS and browsers. 

Windows

Chrome

Windows has two options to display browser notifications from Chrome on different system versions. Windows 8 and earlier builds have a white design for web push messages while Windows 10 and 11 display them on a black background.

Web Push, Chrome, Windows 10 and Windows 11
Web Push, Chrome, Windows 10 and Windows 11

Text

The length of the title and text body may vary depending on the operating system version.

In Windows 10 and earlier, the title contains 60-64 characters while the body can include up to 121 characters. 

In Windows 11, these values are increased to 70 characters in the title and 141 in the content area.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 with a minimum size of 80x80 px and a recommended size of 192x192px. Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Images

The recommended banner resolution is 360x180px or 2:1 ratio. The supported file formats are JPG and PNG. 

Buttons

You can add up to 2 call-to-action buttons. If there is only one button, the system will display 35-40 characters; if you use two buttons, then each element will contain 15-21 characters.

Microsoft Edge

Web Push, Microsoft Edge, Windows
Web Push, Microsoft Edge, Windows

Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft Edge supports web push notifications. The message display capabilities are similar to the Chrome browser.

Text

The preferable title length is up to 50-60 characters. For the body, it is up to 120 characters.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 (the minimum size is 80x80px and the recommended 192x192px). Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Images

The recommended banner resolution is 360x180px or 2:1 ratio. JPG and PNG are the supported file formats.

Buttons

Up to 2 action buttons can be added. If you use only one button, it can include 35-40 characters. If there are two buttons, you should limit their text to 15-21 characters.

Opera

Web Push, Opera, Windows
Web Push, Opera, Windows

Rich web push notifications are supported by Opera 39 for desktop and newer versions.

Text

The displayed title length is up to 50-75 characters. For the body, it is up to 120-145 characters.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 with a minimum size of 80x80px and a recommended size of 192x192px. The file formats supported are JPG and PNG.

Images

The recommended banner resolution is 360x180px or the 2:1 aspect ratio. Supported file formats: JPG, PNG. 

Buttons

You can add not more than 2 action buttons. If there is only one button, its text may consist of 35-40 characters; if you use two buttons, the limit is 15-21 characters for each element.

Firefox

Web Push, Firefox, Windows
Web Push, Firefox, Windows

You have to attract users of this browser via web push only by text because Firefox does not support banners and action buttons.

Text

The title is restricted to 60 characters. The body text is truncated after 120 characters. 

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 (the minimum size is 80x80px while the recommended size is 192x192px). Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Images and Buttons

Not supported.

macOS

Numerous sources give different information about character limits for web pushes on macOS. Values vary considerably: from 38 to 80 characters in the title and from 50 to 120 characters in the body. In fact, this number depends on the width of the characters, the version of the operating system, and the browser.  

Note that adding an icon also can reduce the length of the message text. Until a system update in 2020, web push notifications on macOS didn’t support images. Starting with the Big Sur version, messages in Chrome and Firefox can display an icon that enlarges when the user expands the notification. To do that, the subscriber should hover the cursor over the notification and click on the down arrow that appears. In addition, this update also decreased the icon size in browser pushes and added more text space. 

So what is the best number of characters for web notifications on macOS? Follow this tip: the title should contain up to 40 characters and the body text should be less than 86 characters.

Chrome

Web Push, Chrome, macOS
Web Push, Chrome, macOS

Text

The character limitation is 43 for the title and 120 for the body.

Images

The recommended resolution is 360x180px or the 2:1 aspect ratio. Note that the image will be displayed in a 1:1 aspect ratio in the standard (not expanded) notification.

Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 with a minimum size of 80x80px and a recommended size of 192x192px. Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Buttons

The system supports up to 2 buttons. Depending on the operating system version, the user should expand the notification or click the More button to see the action buttons. Each of them can contain about 20 characters.

Firefox

Web Push, Chrome, Firefox
Web Push, Chrome, Firefox

Text

Up to 45 characters can be displayed in the title and up to 120 characters in the content.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 (the minimum size is 80x80px and the recommended 192x192px). The icon may be magnified when the message is expanded. So, don’t use low-resolution images.

The supported file formats are JPG and PNG. 

Images and Buttons

Not supported.

Safari

Web Push, Chrome, Safari
Web Push, Chrome, Safari

Safari currently supports web push notifications only on macOS. Users of this browser won’t see buttons and large images.

Text

The text length limit is about 50 characters for the title and 115 characters for the message body.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 (the minimum size is 80x80px and the recommended 192x192px). Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Images and Buttons

Not supported.

Android

Android users can receive push messages not only from the app but also from the browser. To do this, they must allow your site to send notifications. 

The display capabilities of each browser on mobile devices are similar to desktops. However, there are some differences in the number of characters. 

Chrome

Web Push, Chrome, Android
Web Push, Chrome, Android

Text

The optimal title length is 50 characters. For the body, it’s from 50 to 150 characters depending on whether you add a large banner and icon or not. An extended message can contain up to 440 characters.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 with a minimum size of 80x80px and a recommended size of 192x192px. Supported file formats: JPG, PNG. 

Images

The recommended banner resolution is 360x180px or the 2:1 aspect ratio. The supported file formats are JPG and PNG.

Buttons

Up to 2 buttons can be added. If there is only one button, the limitation is 20 characters. If there are two buttons, the limit is about 13 characters for each element.

Opera

Web Push, Opera, Android
Web Push, Opera, Android

Text

It can include approximately 39 characters for the title and 65-150 characters for the description.  The text length may vary depending on the use of an icon and/or banner. An extended message can contain up to 255 characters.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 (the minimum size is 80x80px while the recommended size is 192x192px). The supported file formats are JPG and PNG. 

Images

The recommended banner resolution is 360x180px or the 2:1 aspect ratio. Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Buttons

You are able to add up to 2 buttons. One button can contain about 20 characters and approximately 13 letters if you use two buttons at the same time.

Firefox

Web Push, Firefox, Android
Web Push, Firefox, Android

Text

It is recommended to make the title up to 35 characters and the description up to 50 if you have added an icon. Without an icon, the message body can include text up to 150 characters long. The maximum number of characters in an extended message is 200.

Icons

The aspect ratio is 1:1 (the minimum size is 80x80px and the recommended 192x192px). Supported file formats: JPG, PNG.

Images and Buttons

Not supported.

iOS

Currently, this operating system does not support receiving push notifications from websites on mobile devices. However, Apple has announced that this feature will appear in iOS 16 in 2023. So, it looks like this article will be updated next year:) 

Let’s summarize

Now you know the optimal number of characters in push notifications for different operating systems and browsers. But you may probably ask yourself what to do with this knowledge. Is it better to aim for the shortest text length? Or, maybe, can you afford to add more words since popular browsers and OS allow it?

There is no definite answer, so follow the recommendations below.

  1. If you need to send a message to all customers, determine the dominant group of subscribers. For example, if most of them are Chrome users, focus on the capabilities and limitations of this browser.
  2. Divide subscribers into groups and prepare relevant content for each segment. Reteno allows you to form dynamic groups based on various flexible conditions. So you can segment customers not only by Android and iOS users but also take into account the history and behavior of customers. 
  3. Use A/B tests to find out what your audience likes the most (a brief or long message). Are there any patterns and is it better to create diverse content for campaigns? Constant communication with customers will help you get answers to these questions.

Stay useful and interesting for your audience. And then subscribers will click on push notifications, even if a piece of text is hidden:)

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