Back in November last year, Facebook finally launched Notify, its iOS-only app that let users subscribe to news notifications from over 70 different publications. But after only 7 months, the social media giant has decided to shut the app down.
Notify had some good elements, including the ability to only receive specific parts of a site's news coverage - such as the technology section or anything related to your favorite sports team. The app sent short, summary notifications of stories to a user’s lock screen. Selecting one would access the full item on a publisher’s website.
Facebook wanted the app to rival Twitter as a way for people to get breaking news stories. But the company never really mentioned the app after it was launched.
Facebook has now decided to call time on Notify, though it’s been fairly vague about why. In a statement given to TechCrunch, it said that some of the app’s features will be integrated into other Facebook services.
Starting on Wednesday, we will begin integrating Notify functionality into other Facebook products, like Messenger, and will be removing Notify from the App Store. Since launching Notify, we’ve learned a lot about how to make notifications as timely and relevant as possible and we heard from people using the app that Notify helped them stay informed about things they cared about throughout the day.
In all likelihood, Facebook decided to shutter the app because so few people were using it. Unconfirmed figures estimate that Notify was downloaded just 63,000 times since its release. And with its new focus on chatbots, it seems Facebook is hoping its multi-functional Messenger app will become people’s go-to location for breaking news items.
Notify users found out about the app’s demise through one of its push notifications.