Facebook Working on a Breaking News App – Report
Facebook is reportedly testing a breaking news app that lets publishers send alerts directly to the users. The new app sounds similar to Twitter, and seems to be Facebook’s another attempt to better compete with the micro-blogging network.
A few years ago, the social media giant introduced a similar feature called trending topics, but the feature is generally late in picking up trends compared to Twitter and so fails to engage users.
The new product the company is currently working on, will allow news outlets to directly push notifications to followers about breaking news. BusinessInsider recently managed to get its hands on a screenshot of the alleged app and also talked to a source involved in its testing.
Details are scarce, but here’s how Facebook’s new app is supposed to work:
Users will download a new mobile app by Facebook.
Users will then choose partnering publications they want to follow on the app and topics (or “stations” and “substations”) they want to receive breaking news alerts about. Facebook has apparently selected only a few companies to launch with.
When there is breaking news, partnering publications can create mobile notifications that will blast out to all of the followers instantly, as fast as a tweet would.
The mobile alerts allow for up to 100 characters of text and a url to the news article on that publication’s website. One publication can’t create a notification for another, for example.
The blast will go out, and when people click on the link, they’ll be taken to the publication’s website to read the article.