The latest app from Facebook will allow users on iOS to subscribe to push notifications, from more than 70 media partners including Vogue, CNN, Washington Post, Popular Mechanics and Elle, directly to their lock screen.

The app, which is known as Notify, joins the likes of Instant Articles and other non-Facebook news aggregation tools such as Feedly, to give publishers yet another way to reach readers.

As The Verge so succinctly puts it, many publishers rely on Facebook’s news feed algorithm to send readers to its home page which isn’t altogether effective.

Users will be able to select “stations” based on their interests and Facebook will combine this with information that it will source from a users profile which will then push news alerts or featured stories to the users lock screen. From the lock screen, tapping or swiping the notification will allow you to read an article or watch a video which you will then be able to share through Facebook or by sending an email to your friends.

Should you miss anything or dismiss notifications, you will be able to view stories in an aggregated feed within the Notify app.

Users will be able to select stations based on their interests.
Users will be able to select stations based on their interests.

The app needs to be downloaded though and does not, at time of writing, come bundled with Facebook which means that for media publishers to truly benefit they will need to encourage users to download Notify.

The Verge report suggests Notify may just be a Facebook experiment to learn how to send better notifications to users through its original Facebook app and we tend to agree. Allowing users to subscribe to push notifications from individual media outlets would be infinitely more effective than getting users to download a bespoke app for one function.

That said, if you would like to test the app out for yourself and you don’t mind a barrage of notifications to your lock screen, Notify is available for download on the Apple App Store.

[Source and Image – Facebook]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.