Facebook’s Notify news app was introduced in November 2015, and now just a little over half a year since its launch, the company says it will be dropping support for the app. According to a message being sent to Notify users, Facebook is working on “transitioning parts of Notify into” some of its other products. The Notify app will be pulled from the App Store; speculation has it that very few people have been using the app (if they knew it existed at all).
Facebook doesn’t go into details about why it is shutting the app down, only telling users they may stumble across some aspects of Notify in other company products, namely Messenger. The company said in a statement to TechCrunch 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. 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.
So you may be seeing some ability to have news delivered straight to you through Messenger in the future, but it’s not entirely clear what Facebook has planned. Why Notify was given the axe is less clear, though it’s not hard to speculate: ask around and see how many people you know are actually aware of Facebook Notify’s existence. It’ll probably be very few people.
That’s unfortunate because the Notify app was pretty handy, and tons of people have flocked to alternative news aggregator apps like News Republic to get their news. During its time, Notify had allowed users to choose specific publications from which they wanted news, which would show up as push notifications.