Thursday, November 12, 2015

Facebook's Notify news app sends headlines to your lock screen

If you're an iPhone user who feels like they don't quite have enough notifications being pushed to your lock screen, fear not -- Facebook has you covered. The company just released a new app called Notify that is focused on bringing you notifications for a curated set of news and events that you mercifully can pick and choose yourself. Content is grouped by expected categories like business, culture, entertainment,food and drink and so on. Once you dig into a category, you're presented with a list of stations that tell you exactly what kind of alerts it'll deliver.

For example, under entertainment you can get "hot new trailers" from Fandango or "today's best TV moments" from Hulu. The Local category has things like breaking news for your zip code or a morning weather alert from The Weather channel. There's a pretty wide variety of content to choose from here -- all told, Notify is launching with 72 content partners like ABC, Vice, Bloomberg Business, CNN, The New York TImes and many more.
The deep level of customization here means you'll be able to tailor an experience that hopefully isn't too overwhelming and actually provides you useful info when you want it, though there will almost certainly be a period of trial and error to figure out which feeds you really want to notify you. Of course, plenty of these content providers already have apps of their own that are probably sending you more notifications than you want -- it's easy to imagine a situation in which some users end up with duplicate notifications. But if you take the time to make sure you're choosing unique new sources in Notify, it could end up being a useful tool.
Facebook's ambition to be in the news game is widely known already -- Notify has beenrumored for some time now, with specific details about the app's features and launchgetting leaked last week. Between this and the company's instant articles tool, it's clear that Facebook wants to become an even bigger platform for users to find and share news. If you want to give Notify a shot, the app is available now for the iPhone.
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