Facebook To Launch New App For Breaking News?
Is the world’s most popular social media platform planning to launch a new mobile app designed to deliver breaking news, including current news and happenings from sources followed by users? It appears so, at least according to a report published by BusinessInsider. Similar to how tweets work, the mobile app would permit partnered news sources to deploy mobile alerts to all of their followers in one instant. Each mobile alert would contain a maximum of 100 characters, plus room for a URL link from the partnered news source.
Herein lies the difference between Facebook’s new service and Twitter -- other sources will not be allowed to post links to another publication’s website. Also, there will be no sharing of URL links, retweeting, or even the use of hashtags. Some are even saying that this new service sounds like a cross between Twitter and a news aggregator like Flipboard, HTC BlinkFeed, or even Facebook’s even Paper.
Only partnering news sources will be made available at first, which certainly appears like what a news aggregator would do. A news source publishes a story or report, and any user who follows that news source’s feed will be alerted. In other words, there is a direct interaction between the news source and the user following that news source, and Facebook serves as the channel for delivering the news, sans any added voice, opinion, or angle spun by any other third party.
The incorporation of a 100 character limit is rather intriguing though. Some may see it as a teaser of sorts, a device in order to encourage users to actually click on the news story. For news sources, it could be their way of showing their own personality. Besides, news sources are often recognized by how clever or witty they are in composing their headlines or teasers.
For Facebook’s new mobile app though, the 100 character limit provides some familiarity. Moreover, it could be the X-factor that will ultimately decide if the app takes off with the masses or not. For years, nobody has ever come up with a news aggregator service that is truly mega-successful. Sure, we have some existing ones, including Facebook’s own Paper app, but none of them have ever captured a global audience the same way Twitter or WhatsApp has.
As for Facebook, this new app it is developing is just another part of its overall quest to conquer the Internet. If it pulls this off, then it is one more step to fulfilling its goal.