Facebook could be preparing to take on Twitter at its own game, with a standalone news application for mobile phones.
The product, which is reportedly in “alpha” stage testing as part of the company’s Facebook for Business initiative, would allow users to follow specific topics and receive instant alerts of up to 100 characters of text when a breaking news event occurs.
According to Business Insider, which first reported on the app’s existence, the new app will be a specifically broadcast-only experience, limiting the ability to create alerts to specific partnered companies.
Nonetheless, the move shows Facebook squaring up to the competition from Twitter, which is generally perceived to have a strong lead in handling live events.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter’s product is built around a reverse-chronological feed, where the newest updates are presented at the top. That contributes to the service’s notoriously bad experience for new users, since it makes no effort to distinguish between interesting or important content and banal status updates. But the upside is that it means that breaking news events surface rapidly on the social network, allowing them to become the focus of conversation.
SOURCE: Alex Hern