Friday, November 13, 2015

Giving You Notice

It's something I rarely do, but in this case....

"Facebook app sends customized smartphone alerts; Data on screen is tailored to user’s interests" by Gerry Smith Bloomberg News  November 12, 2015

NEW YORK — Facebook Inc. has introduced a mobile app that sends customized alerts to smartphone users, further deepening the ties between media companies and the social media giant.

Who wants this slop coming up on their phone?

Facebook’s “Notify” app sends alerts to a smartphone’s lock screen on topics based on a user’s interests, such as sports, news, music, or movies. For instance, the app could issue an alert about a movie release, then include a link to Fandango’s mobile site to buy tickets. Or it could send an alert linking to a Washington Post article about travel gridlock in the D.C. area.

“Notifications are becoming one of the primary ways people first learn about things wherever they are,” Facebook product manager Julian Gutman wrote in a blog post Wednesday about the new app.

More than 70 media partners are participating in the Notify app, including The New York Times, Time Warner Inc.’s CNN, Vice Media, BuzzFeed, Fandango, and Bloomberg Business. Many of those same companies have already teamed up with Facebook for Instant Articles, a new program designed to speed up the time it takes to load stories on smartphones. 

In other words, it will be the same old slop they have been trolling out for years. Nothing new here.

Facebook’s approach with Notify differs from Instant Articles in an important way: While Instant Articles hosts stories directly on Facebook’s platform, Notify sends people back to other companies’ sites, allowing them to boost their Web traffic.

Facebook has been working with publishers to ensure its feed presents news and live events, in addition to posts from friends. The Notify app, available Wednesday for Apple mobile devices in the United States, gives Facebook a way to alert its 1.5 billion users about what’s going on more broadly on the social network and takes advantage of a valuable piece of real estate: the smartphone lock screen.

Just hang up.