Notify by Facebook: The RSS app that pushes content to your lockscreen

Notify is the latest app developed by Facebook – it arrived on iOS yesterday and it’s available for US residents. The company calls it a notification app, but we feel like it’s an RSS app at its core. However, it does’t quite work as a traditional RSS reader as you can’t just dive in an add any feed you want.

What it does

Content for various publications is available within the app and it’s split into ‘stations’. The stations you choose to subscribe to will send you notifications when new content arrives. These stations are organized into categories like news, music, celebrities, sports and so on, but there’s a limited number of them, although Facebook says the app offers a ‘broad selection’.

To make things convenient, the Notify app was designed to push notifications to your lock screen, so you can easily glance at them. Of course if you want to expand a particular item you can do that by tapping or swiping it.

There’s a Saved Notifications list within the app where you can add notifications you’re interested in, but don’t have the time to read them right away. Facebook is all about sharing stuff so naturally, you can share any of the notifications sent by the app to the lockscreen.

Also, the in-app feed shows you the recent notifications, meaning all the items that have appeared during the past day.

How it works

The way Notify works is it looks at your Facebook likes to offer you content recommendations. Perhaps this is its best feature at the moment, but I’m sure it can’t be very useful unless you’re a heavy content reader on Facebook. If you’re like me and just ‘like’ a lot of personal posts from your friends I honestly can’t see this working very well for this app.

However, Facebook boasts Notify is more than a news app as its notifications can include various types of content besides news like video notifications, Groupon deals and weather updates.

As you can imagine, Facebook’s current partners are mainstream sites like the Weather Channel, ABC, Fox News, The Verge and Comedy Central among others. Notify could be of use to you, but only if you’re happy with the limited selection of stations. And if you’re an iOS user. And live in the US.

Pardon the sarcasm, but it’s obvious Notify can’t replace an RSS reader, at least not now. Facebook also seems to be ignoring the Android platform, which is in fact the most popular mobile OS, although I doubt they can afford not to release an app for Google’s OS soon.

Have you tried Notify yet? Let us know what you liked and/or disliked about the app, and if it can become one of your essential apps or not. Share your feedback in the comments section below or drop us a line on FacebookTwitter or Google+.