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Facebook Wants To Dominate Your Home Screen With Its Notify App

Notify, an app that pushes you news and information, launches today.

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Facebook is after your homescreen.

On Wednesday, the company introduced an app called Notify that will send you push notifications about news, entertainment, and other timely information such as the weather.

When you swipe or tap a Notify notification, a browser within the app will open up a webpage with more information.

Notify, if adopted widely, may give Facebook even more control over the news and information we consume. The company already has significant influence over what we see due to the choices made by its News Feed algorithm. As Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg noted on the company's most recent earnings call, 20% of all time spent with mobile media is spent in either Facebook or Instagram.

Also of note: Facebook relies heavily on third-party sources for the app. Here are the suggestions Facebook offers in its blog posts of ways Notify can be used:

* The Final Scores station from FOX Sports provides end-of-game summaries for your favorite teams.
* The Daily AM Forecast station from The Weather Channel sends a local weather forecast at the start of your day.
* Hot New Trailers from Fandango gets you the newest trailers for the hottest movies as they drop.
* Breaking News from CNN and Top Stories from Fox News deliver the day's news headlines.
* The 10 Best Dressed station from Vogue is your weekly digest of the best-dressed celebs.
* Daily Mediation from Headspace brings bite-sized guided meditation exercises into your day.
* The Flashback station from Getty Images delivers iconic imagery from this day in history.

Facebook may eventually be tempted to automate much of this information and cut the third parties out. Its M virtual assistant being tested within Messenger can send game score updates via text, for instance. (I, for example, have M notify me with the final score after every Knicks game and the weather every morning and afternoon, all without any links.)

If Facebook's artificial intelligence can take over for non-Facebook entities and provide a better experience to Facebook users, it would be hard to argue against using it.

Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at alex.kantrowitz@buzzfeed.com.

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