Facebook breaking-news app could go head-to-head with Twitter
In the constantly evolving field of social networking, feature creep is a fact of life. You give your users new image-sharing tools, and six months later your biggest competitor is doing the same thing. Then they add video support, and you scramble to implement your own. Or a dialer. Or mobile payments. And while we certainly see success from firms that do one thing, and do it really well, there’s huge pressure on the larger players in the field to do offer users every last feature they can. Inevitably, that leads to claims of one mimicking the other’s functionality, and that’s basically the narrative we’re hearing today, as a report attempts to reveal a new Facebook breaking-news app that sounds like it’s taking a page or two from Twitter’s playbook.
The Facebook effort would reportedly involve a new stand-alone app that would invite users to sign up for news alerts based on their choices of relevant publications or topics. There’d be a limited selection of news partners, at least at first, all hand-chosen by Facebook. Those news agencies would then broadcast short breaking-news announcements through the app – and we really mean short, with a 100-character cutoff that’s even more conservative than Twitter’s.
Contrary to the recent Facebook deal that brings third-party news content directly onto Facebook itself, links from these breaking-news messages would supposedly point back to their original sources.
There’s no word on when this project might be ready to go live, but with testing still in an early alpha phase, it might be a while before we hear anything official.