Facebook has a new way for mobile users to stay up-to-date with news from their favorite content publishers. The social networking site and burgeoning (and questionable) online video powerhouse has launched a new iOS app called Notify, which will (aptly) help notify mobile users of new content from over 70 different publishing partners.
According to a company blog post, Facebook started Notify to help deliver “timely notifications about the things that matter to you.” Mobile users can install Notify and select from a variety of categories like entertainment and business. Within those categories are what Facebook is calling “stations,” which host content from publishing partners like Hulu, BuzzFeed, CNN, Time, Vogue, VICE, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, and ABC. For example, Fandango runs a station called “Hot New Trailers,” while the Weather Channel has its own “Daily AM Forecast” station.
When new content is published by Notify’s publishing partners through the app’s variety of stations, users receive a push notification on the lock screen of their iPhones. Users can then share said notification, save it for later viewing, or swipe/tap on the notification to view the complete article, video, or update within the app’s own browser. Notify users can unsubscribe from stations at any time, and the app will recommend new stations based on a user’s Facebook profile.
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Here’s a video Facebook posted to Vimeo that’s a good primer on all the Notify basics.
While Facebook is just diving into what it calls the “evolving medium” of notifications, mobile push notifications certainly aren’t a new concept in the app world. Beachfront Media has known for a while that push notifications help drive video or article views up to two to three times their normal rates the day after a notification is sent. Vine has boasted notifications for almost a year now, and YouTube updated its app in the summer of 2015 to allow users to receive push notifications from their subscribed channels and creators.