Facebook working on Twitter-like breaking news app

Facebook already has a foot in the publishing industry, but wants even more control on the breaking news side. In a new report from Business Insider, the social network is testing a breaking news app that sends alerts to devices, similar to Twitter’s Project Lightning.

Only a few publications have been accepted into the launch. When a user follows the publication, they will receive alerts on breaking news. The news alert can be on longer than 100 characters and will include a URL link to Facebook or the article.

Even though the app is only in alpha-testing, it seems Facebook is serious about making this a feature. It may work inside the Facebook app, with users able to switch the alerts on/off from certain publications.

This could be similar to YouTube alerts when your favourite content creator uploads a new video.

Facebook launched a way for publishers to feature articles on the News Feed with a URL link. The full article can be read on the social network, with publishers able to utilise native photo and video services.

Twitter’s Project Lightning revolves around breaking news and featured content more than alerts. Users will see breaking stories and will be able to comment on them, with a live feed to see any updates to the story.

Considering global events tend to receive huge amounts of traction on Twitter already, Project Lightning is an advancement to make reading the news more simple. Twitter expects to launch this before the end of 2015.

Facebook has often times pinched features from Twitter to add to its own social network. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see some engineers working on a new app similar to Project Lightning.

Source: Business Insider