Facebook have scheduled the launch of their own breaking news app, Notify – stepping up to the challenge from Apple News.

A report from the FT suggested that the app could be made available this week, and will feature content from ‘a range of print, digital and video companies’.

The media partners who will be launching content in the app are all groups who have been working with Facebook on Instant Articles, such as Buzzfeed, Vogue and The Washington Post.

Details are still filtering through, but Fortune described it as ‘a Facebook-based version of a Twitter list, or a modernized version of what used to be called an RSS reader’.

So, once again, nothing new from Silicon Valley.

What could be a game-changer this time around is that Facebook has already had experience in this space, and if Apple have whetted the appetite for news apps, then perhaps Notify stands a chance of making it further than Paper (released in January 2014, but unceremoniously abandoned in March this year).

Notify will join other efforts in the instant news arena, from Snapchat’s unlikely viral success with its ‘Discover’ feature to Twitter’s ‘Moments’ and, of course, Apple News – which seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the average user.

As its name suggests, Notify has another selling point which could sharpen its elbows as it will alert users to new stories using push notifications. The app has been developed after the successful launch of Instant Articles, and it is highly likely that these will feed in to Notify in some way.

We at Page Lizard are running a Tech Talk at the PPA on Tuesday 10 November at 12.30pm to discuss Apple News, Facebook, Google, Snapchat and the implications of these developments for publishers. The event is free, but registration is necessary – click here for more details.

We’ll also be updating our comprehensive set of notes after the talk, including a table with a detailed comparison between the major players in the social article space.

Header image courtesy of REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

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