Facebook has launched another standalone app into the world, this time to let you keep track of what’s going on in the world. Called Notify, it’s the control center for the news you want to receive, all from your mobile device’s lock screen. The app is available for iOS today and only available to those in the United States.
“Everyone has different interests, so whether you’re into sports, celebrities, news, movies, music, or shopping, Notify makes it easy to find notifications you’re into with a broad selection of great ‘stations’ across a variety of categories,” product manager Julian Gutman wrote in a blog post. “Notifications are becoming one of the primary ways people first learn about things, wherever they are.”
You can create your own “mix” of notifications from across business, celebrity and gossip, culture, entertainment, fashion, food and drink, gaming, sports, and more. Facebook said that there’s also personalized tuning, meaning you can subscribe to the Game Summaries station from the Bleacher Report, and then choose to follow the Golden State Warriors within that station. Also, the mix will be fine-tuned based on what you’ve Liked or denoted you’re Interested in on Facebook. This is probably going to be good news for people who don’t want to be inundated by notifications about teams or specific things they just don’t care about.
Once you get a notification, you can ignore it, or just swipe or tap on it to open the link in the app’s browser, where you can read the full article, view the video, or peruse the rest of the site.
Since this is a Facebook product and it’s social, what would it be without some sharing features? Notify allows you to share notifications with friends through email, text, or your favorite social media service. You can also save notifications for later — akin to Pocket. When you go back later, you can review the notices you’ve received in the past 24 hours.
Likely to make it frictionless for the reader, Facebook doesn’t route readers to its Paper app to read the article or even an Instant Article. In fact, if you receive a notification about Steph Curry’s amazing 40-point game for the Golden State Warriors, you’re going to be taken directly to ESPN’s site within Notify’s in-app browser, not to the ESPN app or anywhere else.
Do people want more notifications on their mobile device? When you’re dealing with email, notices from Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, text messages, Spotify, Snapchat, Netflix, and all the other apps you’ve opted to receive notifications, eventually the screen becomes a place you want to just ignore. So good luck to Facebook on breaking through the noise.
And while Notify is only available for iOS, you can probably expect an Android version coming soon, especially after Facebook hired Lior Gonnen, the founder of the Android news app Roundup. Gonnen’s app allows users to customize their feed of news articles by select media outlets, which seems very similar to what Notify is doing.
At launch, Notify will have news from at least 70 different media partners, including A&E, ABC, Billboard, Bloomberg Business, CBS Sports, CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Curbed, Discovery, E!, Elle, Getty Images, The Hollywood Reporter, Techmeme, Quartz, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, The Weather Channel, Groupon, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Reports surfaced last week that the app would launch this week. And now, just like that, Facebook dives further into the news game to go against Twitter, Flipboard, Apple News, and others.