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Facebook Notify app lands, offering much more than breaking news

Facebook has finally taken the wrappers off its new long-rumoured Notify app, which it says will deliver “timely notifications” from mobile users’ favourite content sources.

The standalone app – which has been in testing for months – was largely thought to be focused on delivering breaking news, but it’s clear from the off that Notify will have a much broader scope.

Alongside news headlines from the likes of CNN and Fox, there will be content “stations” from a multitude of providers offering daily weather forecasts, end-of-game sports summaries and even the latest movie trailers.

Partners include the Weather Channel, Fox Sports and Fandango for weather, sports and trailer respectively. There’s also a Flashback station from Getty images bringing iconic photos from the current day in history.

Meanwhile, there will be a Daily Medication class courtesy of the Headspace app, and Vogue’s 10 Best Dressed station for those into a bit of fashion and celebrity gossip.

Users will be able to tailor their own personal mix of notifications, which will appear on the lockscreen of iPhone users, at least initially. Entering the notification will take users directly to the content partner’s app and the selected piece of content.

“It’s easy to share your favorite notifications with friends via text,
email, Facebook or other social networks, right from your lockscreen,” Facebook explains on its Newsroom blog.
“If a notification catches your eye when you’re busy or distracted, just swipe to add it to your Saved Notifications list. You can discover all the notifications you’ve received from Notify in the last 24 hours via a convenient in-app feed so you can easily stay up to date.”

Related: Is Apple News really a Flipboard killer?

While Notify is a standalone app, users will need a Facebook account to jump aboard. It’s available for iPhone users in the US from today, with Android and global rollouts presumably coming soon.

The app will immediately challenge the Twitter Moments tool, Apple’s iOS 9 News app and existing content aggregators such as Flipboard and Pocket.

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