Facebook is shutting down Notify, the 7-month-old app that let you subscribe to push notifications from your favorite publishers. More than 70 partners used the app to send users alerts about the day’s top stories, including CNN, Bloomberg, and Vox Media, which owns The Verge. Notify users were alerted that the app is shutting down today via a push notification.
Facebook says the technology that powers Notify will be absorbed into other products. Chief among them: Messenger, where some news outlets are already experimenting with delivering the news via chatbots. "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," Facebook said in a statement. "With more than 900 million people using Messenger each month, we think there is a great opportunity for publishers to reach even more people interested in real-time updates from their favorite sources."
"We've learned a lot about how to make notifications as timely and relevant as possible."
When it launched, I said Notify was likely an experiment that would inform how Facebook brings publisher notifications into other products. It was never clear why consumers would download a standalone app to send them more push notifications in an era where many of us are already drowning in them. It seems that few did — Notify never drove significant traffic to The Verge, and it’s shutting down much faster than many of Facebook’s other app experiments.
Still, publishers are eager for big new distribution channels. If Notify gives birth to a golden era of news delivered by chatbots, they’ll likely find that this Facebook experiment was one worth joining.