Facebook is apparently preparing to launch a new standalone news app as early as next week, if a report carried by the Financial Times (UK) is to be believed. Rumors about the app have been doing the rounds over the summer, with detailed reports being carried by major online media outlets like Venture Beat and the like, but FT is now apparently confirming the ETA as well as the name of the upcoming app, both of which were being rumored over the past few months. The mobile app, which will be called ‘Notify’, will act as a news aggregation service for now, and bring news stories from various media outlets, along the same lines as similar services from microblogging major Twitter and media sharing application Snapchat. According to the FT report, Facebook has already tied-up with a number of media companies including Vogue, Mashable, CNN, Washington Post, CBS, Comedy Central and Billboard magazine, for its latest endeavor.
While ‘Moments’ from Twitter is a newly-launched service that offers users a way of curating and aggregating news content on mobile devices, Snapchat also has a similar service called ‘Snapchat Discover‘. Snapchat’s service however, has its own dedicated news team headed by CNN veteran Mr. Peter Hamby, and unlike Facebook’s proposed service, carries its own original content. For the uninitiated, Facebook has been testing the waters as far as the business of serious news goes, and towards that end, the social networking giant had earlier tied up with a number of media outlets to launch its own news aggregation service called ‘Instant Articles’, which publishes content from a number of media companies directly to the social network’s news feed. Instant Articles went live last month, and Notify is apparently meant to be a logical follow-up to that particular news aggregation service from the social networking giant.
It is worth remembering that Facebook hasn’t always had the best of luck when it comes to standalone apps separate from its core social networking and messaging apps, both of which have got seriously high number of downloads on both the Google Play Store as well as on Apple’s App Store. The company had to abandon two of its prior attempts to compete with Snapchat, when its messaging app Poke and video chat app Slingshot, both had to be discontinued due to a complete lack of user interest. While Facebook announced its Q3 results on Wednesday, the company did not reply to FT when asked about the impending launch of the Notify app.