Facebook has reportedly started testing a breaking news app that would receive alerts directly from publications followed by the users.
In order to compete better with Twitter, Facebook has been introducing new features that make it similar to the micro-blogging network. A few years ago, the company introduced trending topics similar to Twitter but the feature is generally late in picking up trends as compared to Twitter. As a result, people's reliance on Twitter for news as it happens has grown over time and Facebook probably wants to change that, as the company is now working on an app that will allow news outlets to directly push notifications to followers about breaking news.
Business Insider managed to get its hands on a screen grab showing the said feature and also talked to a person involved in its testing. It is expected that users will be required to download a separate app that would receive notifications from news publications followed by the user. The publishers will be provided a dashboard to send out the alerts with 100 characters of text and a link to their article which will probably be opened using an in-app browser.
Facebook recently started rolling out the "Instant Articles" feature which gave select news outlets the ability to directly publish their articles using the social network but it seems the feature hasn't been well received and the Breaking News app sounds like a way to re-enter this space but we will only know more once the company makes it official.
Source: Business Insider | Image via Business Insider