The idea of the Facebook News Feed as an actual news feed has always been a bit of a joke. A more appropriate name would be the Facebook Clickbait Stream, or the Facebook Babies & Weddings & Cute Animals Collection. The point being, more often than not, our Feeds were not feeding us any actual news. Today Facebook released Notify, a smartphone app for reading customizable breaking news (actual news), information, and entertainment push notifications from your lock screen.
Notify allows users to select from over 70 publishers and customize alerts to receive news and information about specific topics of interest. Each story is sent as a push notification and stored in the Notify app’s feed for 24 hours. The notification will be an abbreviated summary of the story and users can click the associated link within the app for the full story.
For now, Notify is only available in the United States and for iOS only. To get onboarded, simply download Notify from the Apple Appstore and log in with your Facebook credentials. The app will immediately pull info from your Liked Pages and Follows to create a personalized set of topic recommendations.
Facebook has steadily tried to introduce standalone apps to compliment its dominant social network, but none have been able to grab the widespread public’s attention. Apps like Paper and Slingshot failed to catch on as they weren’t seen as very useful. Notify looks to bring real value, in the form of real-time information, right at your fingertips.