Facebook’s Shutting Down Notify And Integrating Its Technology Into Messenger

by • June 8, 2016 • FacebookComments Off on Facebook’s Shutting Down Notify And Integrating Its Technology Into Messenger3705

Just seven months ago, Facebook launched Notify, an app that encouraged users to subscribe to receive notifications from content publishers. So imagine my surprise when I got a notification saying: “Thanks for using Notify. We’re transitioning parts of Notify into other Facebook products, and the app will no longer be supported”. Yes, Facebook is shutting down Notify and integrating its technology into Messenger and other apps.

Notify users were able to subscribe to receive notifications from over 70 different partner publishers including TechCrunch, CNN, Vox Media, Bloomberg, and others. Many of these publishers will be using chatbots to deliver their news from now on to users of Messenger. In a statement about the change, Facebook explained that,

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.

And now,

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.

Notify always felt to me like an “in-between” product. It didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the ecosystem and seemed like a bit of an experiment. And also, why download a totally separate app to get notifications from publishers? Maybe that was Facebook‘s attempt to control news delivery?

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I do understand Facebook’s rationale in separating the Facebook and Messenger apps, because Messenger was always bound to go in a totally different direction. Then it became a platform. Yet, even today, many people don’t actually use Messenger, but instead use the inbuilt messaging system in their Facebook app. Either way, now it’s clear that Notify was just an experiment to see if Facebook could build something that would help drive traffic to publishers.

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We are obviously entering a time and age when news and notifications will be delivered by chatbots on Messenger, and not a whole separate app. And Facebook is banking heavily on that.

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