Social networking platform Facebook is believed to be trialling a new mobile app specifically designed for breaking news.
The new product is currently in the ‘alpha’ phase of testing and is part of the company’s initiative ‘Facebook for Business’. The app would permit users to follow custom and specific news stories, and receive instant notifications (in no more than 100 characters) when a particular news story breaks.
According to online news provider Business Insider, the app will be a broadcast-only platform that will limit the ability for users to create content for partnered companies.
However, this is an interesting move from the social giant, which would appear to be preparing to compete directly with its chief social media rival. Twitter’s service is centred on a reverse chronological newsfeed, which shows the newest updates and posts at the top of the page. This bodes well for users seeking the latest breaking news stories, as these would appear at the top of their timelines.
As well as this, Twitter is also testing out a new feature to its service, which is also dedicated to news. This is believed to be a designated timeline for events, where tweets about the news story would be separated from the rest of the user’s newsfeed content, in a similar way that hashtags and trending topics work on the site.
Facebook may have identified live events as a key part of its internet marketing strategy and formed a plan to bridge the gap to Twitter, which is clearly the industry leader for live events. The new app would be the latest addition to the company’s portfolio, which already contains a number of standalone apps, including Messenger and Slingshot.