Facebook is doubling down on push notifications with a new iOS app called Notify that lets users subscribe to alerts from 70 publishing partners. Some of Facebook’s launch partners include TV networks like ABC, CNN and Fox News, traditional publishers like the New York Times, the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and web video services like Hulu and Vevo.
The app allows users to customize their notifications by subscribing to push notification feeds from individual publishers, and it also recommends news sources based on a user’s Facebook profile. Notifications are displayed on a user’s iPhone home screen, and clicking on a notification link leads directly to a referenced video or news article on the publisher’s website.
Notify is an interesting experiment because it taps into the growing reliance for notifications among younger mobile device users. It also possibly complements Facebook’s news feed in that it allows users to follow publishers that they wouldn’t usually befriend on the social network. In that way, it’s also potentially competing with Twitter, as others have noted.
However, it completely lacks the social filter that many users have grown so accustomed to when consuming news through Facebook or Twitter. it’s possible that Facebook may add more social signals over time, the company clearly seems to treat Notify as a kind of experiment. Product Manager Julian Gutman said in a blog post Wednesday that Facebook was “excited to explore this evolving medium with participating sources.”