Facebook has gotten into the news business, releasing a stand-alone app on Wednesday that caters to your information needs while also providing a fast way to catch up on the day's headlines in addition to sports scores, movie trailers, and more. Currently only available on iPhone, Facebook's Notify app uses the iOS notification system to send push alerts from user-chosen channels that will appear on your lock screen. It's a way to stay on top of news and easily share or save relevant articles to read later. Notify offers a wide variety of categories for users to choose from, including business, fashion, culture, gaming, and fun.
Prominent outlets have already partnered with Facebook to be featured on Notify, including Sports Illustrated, CNN, and Vogue. After downloading the app and picking from Notify's many categories, users will receive notifications for relevant news. If they're interested in reading the full article or seeing a full video, they need only tap the relevant notification. Swiping offers the ability to save the specific story or share it via email, Facebook, or text. Facebook has promised that users can share via other social media networks as well, though they've yet to list off which ones.
A review from TechCrunch praised the app for allowing users to pick subcategories such as their favorite team to follow via Fox Sports' The Final Score. Notify makes the decision process of which outlets to choose a bit easier by pulling from your Facebook likes in order to compile a list of suggestions. At least three outlets must be chosen out of the 72 offered, however. Tapping on a potential selection reveals the last 20 notifications from a source, offering a bit of a preview.
In a statement, Facebook Product Management Director Michael Cerda summed up the app as "the most intimate way for you and the information you’re interested in to connect." Even if you fall behind on your notifications, Notify offers a stream featuring stories from the past day for you to catch up on. The only real snags of the app is the fact that it's only offered for iPhone and requires you to have a Facebook account to use it.
Notify is currently only available in the United States as well. It's unclear whether an Apple Watch app is being developed for Notify, though Facebook has indicated that it is interested in making the app available to more phones in addition to a potential desktop app.
Images: Facebook (1), Getty (1)