The new app presents users with notifications on their lock screen

Facebook launches news app

Facebook has launched a new iPhone app called Notify that presents users with a news feed that is tailored to their interests.

The social network said users can access ‘channels’ for different topics such as sports, celebrities, news, movies, music or shopping. It will post notifications on the device it is installed on when a relevant story is found.

A number of popular news companies have signed up to distribute their news on the app including CNN, Fox News and the Washington Post.

“You’ll receive notifications, delivered right to your lock screen, and a quick glance will keep you connected to the things that you care about throughout the day,” Facebook said in a blogpost.

“It’s easy to share your favourite notifications with friends via text, email, Facebook or other social networks, right from your lock screen.”

The app is currently available to iPhone owners in the US.

According to Mark Mulligan, managing director of Midia Research, an analyst company, the new app was a logical move for Facebook because many use the platform as the ‘jumping off point’ for access to their digital lives.

"The better a job it can do of this, the better it locks users in. It has seen standout success with spinning out Messenger and recognises that the more touchpoints it can develop with its users, the more it can create greater loyalty."

Messenger, which directly competes with other online messaging apps such as WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook and Google’s Hangouts, announced earlier this year it was opening the platform to third party developers.

The launch of Notify marks another move by the company to expand its reach beyond social interactions. The company has recently seen success in the video streaming sector, competing against the likes of YouTube, when it announced in its third-quarter earnings that it was now generating eight billion video views per day.

Facebook has also said it is working on an alternative to the ‘Like’ button which is designed to allow users to express empathy on serious posts.

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