Facebook also wants to be news to you


It seems everyone wants a piece of the smartphone news market.


Apple launched its news function last month, Snapchat has brought organisations like CNN onto its platform, and Twitter is still considered top dog of the smartphone news sphere, with its Moments feature is looking to firm up the app’s number one position.


But the market has become even more crowded today with the release of Facebook’s Notify app, which sends notifications to users from a choice of over 70 partners such as Comedy Central and Harper’s Bazaar.


These partners choose what they send out and when, with the notification linking directly to their own webpage.


But if Facebook can’t control the content, and if the notifications don’t link to their site, what’s the benefit for the social media giant?


The company’s product director Michael Cerda says mobile notifications are their own distinct medium, one in which Facebook is keen to assert its presence.


“People have different ways they want to consume information,” Cerda tells Re/code.


“Search is one way. Social is another way. And we think push notifications might be yet another. We see that as an evolving medium and want to be a part of that.”


But Re/code’s Kurt Wagner wonders whether people actually want more content on their lock screen. He says push notifications are already overwhelming and many people receive them from publishers they care about.


“If you love push notifications from the New York Times for example, you’ve probably taken the time to download the NYT app,” he writes.


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