Facebook’s New Notify iPhone App Wants Even More of Your Attention!

FACEBOOK ISN’T CONTENT just to help you kill time when you’re on your phone. It also wants to lure you in. Today the social networking giant released a new standalone app called Notify to do just that. With Notify, any Facebook user can sign-up for customized mobile “push alerts”—the pop-ups that flash onto your home screen even if your phone is asleep—from news and entertainment outlets.

Notify—at the moment available only for iPhone—would seem to be the company’s latest effort to move beyond trying to hold your attention only once you’re already inside of Facebook. Now Facebook is seeking to entice you to come to your phone. Once a push alert has caught your attention, you might be more likely to head to Facebook…

…In a perfect techno-utopian future, I’d certainly love to get told what I want to know when I want to know it instead of having to seek it out. I want to spend less time staring at my phone, not more. Facebook seems to know this well (see, for instance, its personal assistant M.)

But, like so many things that seek to make our lives better, it’s also easy to see how its notifications could quickly become just another source of spam. Facebook will have to figure out a way to keep its Notify app from becoming more than just another source of junk. And just imagine if they decide to do ads.”

This definitely sounds like the more and more common “double-edge sword” theme as it has the potential to be very good and useful and at the same time has the potential to quickly turn into a badly misused and mismanaged app.

Questions: Is this possibly the true start of an answer to demand for user customization of information, advertising, and the like? Or will it be yet another tool in Facebook’s box to take more of our time away?

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One thought on “Facebook’s New Notify iPhone App Wants Even More of Your Attention!

  1. I think if they could use their algorithm to really tailor this to each user it could be useful. At this point I am used to receiving notifications and many times I will click on the content. The WSJ uses this and even if I do not read the actual article I like seeing/reading the headline.

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