Facebook launching news notifications app next week

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Facebook's next app will alert you to breaking news.

The social networking giant is partnering with an array of big media brands to introduce an app called Notify next week, according to a person with knowledge of the company's plan.

CNN, Mashable, CBS, The Washington Post, and Vogue are among the initial partners, according to the Financial Times, which was first to report the launch date on Wednesday.

The FT said the app "will feature content from a range of print, digital and video companies."

The app's notifications will direct users back to the sites of the participating publishers. The Post could alert you to a big scoop by one of its Capitol Hill reporters, or Mashable could alert you to its review of a much-anticipated new product as soon as it's published.

Facebook declined to comment.

Notify -- which like Facebook's Messenger will be a standalone app -- will join a growing number of efforts by tech companies to link users to news sources.

The latest version of Apple's (AAPL, Tech30) iOS includes a News app that surfaces stories from dozens of news outlets.

Snapchat's Discover channel promotes new content from publishers each day.

Twitter's one-month-old Moments feature summarizes news, sports and entertainment stories through curated tweets.

And Facebook already has Instant Articles, which hosts stories from sites like The New York Times right within Facebook (FB, Tech30).

Two weeks ago Facebook made it available to all iPhone users.

Notify is somewhat different from all of these. The closest thing to it might be the opt-in notification feature within Twitter, which lets users get a mobile alert every time an account posts a new tweet.

With Notify, users will be able to sign up for notifications from individual news outlets, without having to install other apps.

The Awl published screen grabs of a beta version of Notify last month. New stories from outlets like BuzzFeed and Techmeme showed up on the notifications window of the user's iPhone.

Sending alerts to users -- as opposed to waiting for them to come through the digital door on their own -- is a top priority of many news organizations big and small.

"There's a growing number of users who only engage with us when we send a push," Andrew Phelps, product director for messaging and push at The New York Times, recently told Digiday.

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