This week Facebook have unveiled the Notify app. Notify is an app for iOS which takes control of notifications right from your lock screen. With Notify activated you can get news from media providers like National Geographic, Vogue, CNN and the Weather Channel. You simply sign in to Notify and choose which topics you are interested in and you will get news alerts collated in a stream which can be accessed right from your lock screen without having to enter the app itself.
It is a clever move from Facebook which basically bypasses the need to open your phone and navigate to Facebook to see your own timeline. Notify gives you the streamlined news that you want. It is an even cleverer move from Facebook when you consider the heavy hitting news channels that are signed up to Notify and how it could well become the de facto RSS feed on iPhone.
Should Twitter be worried?
As a London App Development Agency we are always excited by the release of new apps to the marketplace, especially by big players such as Facebook. It is easy to see however that behind the supposed laid back and friendly nature of Silicon Valley there is some serious maneuvering for supremacy going on.
Twitter has recently released Moments as a way to engage other users who feel that Twitter’s main social offering is prohibitive. Moments is seen as the software that will get Twitter back on track with an engaged user base and, more importantly, a growing one too. Notify may well stand in the way of this.
Facebook has gone one better than Moments with Notify by controlling the lock screen rather than having to wade through menus to access information. Many commenters have pointed out too that Notify’s stream does pretty much look like Twitter too. Should Twitter be worried? Maybe.
Moments seems to be the more visual of the two news streams and it isn’t restricted to just big news rather than trending ‘moments’. With so many big names supporting Notify though and with the added lock-screen takeover you do wonder if Moment’s moment has come too little too late.
How will Apple react?
Facebook has not just one-upped Twitter with this move but possibly even Apple itself. Why Apple has the hardware and the OS Facebook has the control of content flow with Notify. The move to take control of the lock screen means that Facebook would become the de facto ‘hub’ of the OS as you could access other apps through it.
Whether Apple will respond by creating its own in-house notification stream is something that remains to be seen.
Currently Notify is available as a mobile app for iPhone in the US and while Facebook has declined to say whether or not it will be extended outside of North America, and indeed onto Android, if the app is successful it can all but be expected.