Facebook is working on yet another standalone app, according to a report from Business Insider.
The app, which is apparently just beginning to enter testing, is designed for publishers to send out breaking news alerts to users who choose to follow them.
In short, here's how the app will work:
First, users will download a separate app for this. Then, they will follow certain publications or topics – sort of like Twitter. From there, publications can push notifications to their followers.
These breaking news alerts are currently being tested as 100 characters, not including the URL. Publications can only include their own URLs in the alerts, and the app is in its nascent stage so very few publications are involved yet.
Business Insider says that the links will be outside links – in other words they will take users to the publications' website. But it's pretty hard to imagine Facebook not tying this in to its Instant Article initiative.
People do get a lot of their news on Facebook these days – whether that's a great thing or not. An app like this could allow users to avoid the clutter of their news feeds.
I've reached out to Facebook and will update this accordingly.