Facebook wants to try and lure users away from Twitter by creating its own real time news notification app. We know that breaking news is Twitter’s ‘thing.’ News breaks faster on Twitter than anywhere else in the world. A Facebook source confirmed to Mashable that the app is in development however there are no ideas on when it may be released yet.
The first rumours of the app were reported by The Awl earlier in the week. They stated that the app would be called Notify and they also provided screenshots of what the app could look like on iOS which you can see below.
From the limited information we have seen so far, the app appears to be a headline notification system from your preferred news sources. It does not seem to be a place where users will be able to discuss news or interact about breaking news. Business Insider first hinted at the app back in August and stated that it will allow for 100 characters on each alert along with a link that will take the reader to the website that the alert was pulled from.
Personally what I love about Twitter is the interaction. Breaking news appears on Twitter and you can interact and discuss what is going on in real time. At the moment, it seems that Facebook is creating a notification tool and not much more than that. Which to be honest, will fit in quite well alongside Twitter if you are looking for notifications on breaking news. However it is a long way from pulling users from what Twitter has to offer on live events at the moment.
Taking On YouTube:
Facebook is also testing a new video section on its platform which has been appearing for users on both the web and app versions of the service. It aims to make it easier for users to discover and share video clips which are uploaded to its servers.
Facebook accounts for about 20% of the time that people spend online at the moment and has incredible amounts of data about its users. At the moment the new video sections are only available to a “small number of people” while they are being tested and there is no indication when they may roll it out to a larger audience.
The new video section is accessed by a button in the bottom of the screen on the app or in the favourites section on the top left of the web page. At the moment it is limited to suggested clips based on user activities and friends activities however it is more than likely that search functionality will be added in down the line.
Facebook is also experimenting with ads on their video content. YouTubers have made a living from uploading ad-enabled clips to YouTube and as Facebook is now targeting these creators it is important that the incentive is there for them to create for Facebook as opposed to YouTube.
Facebook are experimenting with placing ads between the initial clip the user clicks on and other “suggested” videos it then promotes as follow-up views. They will also share revenue generated by these adverts with the creator. YouTube has publicly tried to play down the Facebook threat however it is clear that Facebook wants to be more, a lot more than a place to find out what your friends are up to.