Facebook Inc’s real-time news app, called Notify, is likely to be launched next week, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The standalone app will let users subscribe to specific news organizations and receive notifications when news breaks -- allowing the company to compete with rivals Snapchat and Twitter Inc, which recently launched their own news aggregator services.
The app will feature content from dozens of media partners, including Vogue, the Washington Post and CBS, the Times reported. The Notify app, which aims to make Facebook the de facto destination for all mobile news consumers, follows the success of Facebook’s Instant Articles service, which allows news organizations to publish content directly to users’ news feeds.
However, the new app will face stiff completion from Twitter Inc’s recently launched service called Moments, which aims to provide a better way of curating and aggregating content for mobile users to help them follow live events, and Snapchat’s Discover service. Additionally, since Notify would be a news app, it could also compete with the likes of Flipboard, Inside, Yahoo News Digest and Apple News.
As of Sept. 30, Facebook had 1.55 billion monthly active users, including 1.39 billion monthly active users on mobile -- a rise of 23 percent over the past year. The news app, when and if it is launched, would be targeted at its growing mobile user base and give the company a big boost in its efforts to become a multi-functional platform, rather than just a basic social network.