Facebook Reportedly Going News-Heavy With New App

12 August 2015

Facebook could be launching a new breaking news app, aimed at delivering current news and events from your followed sources, according to an article by BusinessInsider. Much like a tweet, the app would allow partnered publications to “blast out” mobile notifications to all of their followers at an instant. Each notification would contain a maximum of 100 characters and room for one URL from the partnered publication.

This is where this new service begins to distinguish itself from Twitter; other sources will not be able to post links to another publication’s website. There will be no sharing of URLs, retweeting, or possibly hashtags.

By the sound of things, this new app falls somewhere between Twitter and a news aggregation service like Flipboard, HTC BlinkFeed, or the already Facebook-owned Paper.

At first, only ‘partnering’ ‘publications’ will be available. That’s a news aggregation service if we ever heard one. A publication publishes a story and anyone subscribed to its feed will be notified. This is a direct interaction between publication and follower, using Facebook as a delivery service, with no one else’s voice or spin thrown in to the mix.

The inclusions of a 100 character message is an interesting twist. It’s there to act as an extra little taster to get your click. Alternatively, it’s a way for publications to create their own ‘personality’, which is how so many success stories have been spelled out on fully-fledged social media platforms.

The combination of a Twitter-style message with a news aggregation service might spell the first hugely successful mobile news app.

There have been previous successes, of course. Facebook’s Paper is one of them. However, none of them have seen a hugely global audience that could compare to the larger social media platforms, or instant-messaging apps.

Facebook has been pushing more and more in to news for some time now. This is the next logical step, and it sounds like an intelligent one at that.

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