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Are You Ready For The New “Facebook Notify” App?


So Facebook has released Notify, an app for reading customisable breaking news, info, and entertainment push notifications right on your lock screen in response to its filtered News Feed that was never very good at real-time news.

Notify lets you select from over 70 publishers and customise your alerts to only send you news about specific companies, cities, sports teams, music genres and more. Each is sent as a push notification and shown in the Notify app’s feed for 24 hours, and can be clicked through to read an associated link.

Today Notify becomes available on iOS in the US. It doesn’t offer the real-time discussion and independent voices of Twitter, but could provide an alternative for Twitter lurkers who just wanted real-time information and aren’t interested in building another audience to broadcast to.


Though Notify won’t feature any ads for now, there are certainly opportunities to offer sponsored suggestions for accounts to follow. As long as Facebook can get enough of its 1.55 billion users on Notify to justify the work publishers are putting in to produce content there, it could create the real-time, urgent, high-signal information channel the News Feed could never be.

The New Sub-Topic Alerts

What’s really special about Notify is the granularity of alerts you can get. While general Twitter accounts feature a broad range of content that might not all be interesting to you, Notify lets you subscribe only to the very specific sub-topics that are relevant.


That level of control is critical for an app built around push notifications because alerts about irrelevant sports teams, news, or entertainment would get extremely annoying. Most people would say they already get too many pushes.

How To Get Notified

When you first download Notify and log in with Facebook, the app will pull your Page Likes and follows to create a personalised set of recommendations to follow. This gives it a leg up over Twitter’s onboarding, which has to build your interest graph from scratch. To get you invested in the app, you’ll have to choose at least three channels to follow to get started.

Facebook has worked with 70 launch partners to create Notify stations, including The New York Times, CNN, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Techmeme, Fox Sports, Epicurious, Comedy Central, Fandango, BandsInTown and The Weather Channel. Many offer both general news stations and ones with options to follow specific sub-topics. Tapping a station lets you preview its content by showing the last 20 notifications it sent.

Publishers use a special interface to write notification text, select a link, and then publish or schedule their alerts. There’s also an API for programmatic distribution of weather forecasts, sports scores and other structured data. Working out these partnerships is what led to the leaks about Notify this summer from The Awl and Financial Times.

The alerts are delivered to a user’s lockscreen where they can be read without opening one’s phone. Tapping through opens a notification’s link, and you can also save it to read later. Inside the Notify app is a feed of the last 24 hours of your notifications, which you could use as a digest of what you care most about. There’s also a tab for parsing any notifications you’ve saved.

From the feed, you can easily swipe to manage what alerts you get from a station. If you want more, the + button reveals a way to browse categories of stations like sports or business news, or you can dig into a single source and see all the stations it offers.

For publishers, Notify creates a way for them to send push notifications without building and popularising their own app. Ideally it could help them grow their audience through Notify’s discovery features, or deepen their relationship with existing fans.

Facebook Alert

At its best, Notify serves as an invisible app. You rarely need to open it. Instead you just consume the alerts on your lock screen and click through to view the related websites when necessary.

But at its worst, Notify could overwhelm users with Notifications, driving them to silence the alerts or delete the app.

“We know notifications are a highly sensitive distribution channel,” Notify’s Director of Media Partnerships Nick Grudin says. “If you get them right, they’re really awesome. If you get them wrong, they ‘re really annoying.”

To that end, Facebook is giving publishers detailed analytics regarding how many people receive, view, click through, share and, most important, unsubscribe from each notification. This way publishers know what content they should stop pushing because its driving away readers.

The problem is that if publishers aren’t careful, they won’t just burn their own subscribers, but Notify as a whole. People pissed off by the volume or quality of alerts they receive may just ditch the app entirely rather than modify their subscriptions.

That’s the strength of Twitter’s feed. Since not everything notifies you, you don’t have to be so stingy with the subscriptions. When asked if he thought of Notify as a Twitter replacement, Grudin told me “Definitely not a replacement. It’s just different. Different medium, different distribution channel. It’s a new way for people to receive information.”

Facebook’s had trouble popularising its standalone apps like Paper and Slingshot, and its last invasion of the lockscreen, Home, was a giant flop. But with a totally different value proposition — true real-time information — than Facebook itself, Notify could push people to stay connected to the news that matters most to them. The question is whether we want more notifications, even for things we care about.

The Reasons Why People Uninstall Their Apps (Infographic)

Getting new customers to download your app is only one part of making your app a globe conquering success. The really big apps specialise in longevity. If you want your app to become a global brand, it’s all about staying power.

That’s why doing your research into the reasons people get rid of apps is key to a deeper understanding of the motivation behind pressing the delete button. It’s a busy market place out there and it’s the fine margins that make all the difference. So, it really pays to know your stuff. Luckily for you, the detailed infographic featured below will show you the necessary information about the main reasons why people uninstall their apps. Whether you’re having a gaming, business or education app, there are very clear notions why apps rarely last longer than a few months. Avoid making these mistakes and you could transform your app from minor success into a textbook global business case study in no time.


Click to Enlarge

Infographic credit:

SmartHalo: Turn Any Bicycle Into A Smart Bike


Bike riders all over the world would love this.

The SmartHalo attaches to the handlebars of any normal bicycle and, once paired with your smartphone, acts as a visual navigation guide, complete with turn-by-turn signaling. Yes, there are a number of ways you can use your smartphone to navigate a bike trip now, but they mostly consist of checking your handset or smartwatch, both potentially dangerous activities while steering a bike down city streets.

What SmartHalo does is provide a dead simple green lighting prompt, connected via Bluetooth to the app on your smartphone, allowing you to keep the handset in your pocket as you follow the color-coded navigation guides on the device. Simply input your destination into the device’s associated app, and SmartHalo will take over from there.


When you’re about to turn, the signal beams a white and green warning, and when you’ve traveled in the wrong direction you’ll get a red flashing prompt. Another lighting feature also notifies you when you get a phone call. In addition to serving as a visual guide, the device also connects with the smartphone app to provide biking statistics, including distance traveled, average speed and calories burned. Every time you’re away from your bike, you can still track its location on a map via the app. Plus, the weather-resistant device includes an alarm in case thieves attempt to remove it from your bike.


Finally, the device also automatically detects nightfall, at which point it turns on a front-mounted headlamp. When you stop the bike and dismount, the light turns itself off. With all that lighting up, it might seem like you’d need to recharge the device daily, but the creators of the SmartHalo claim that its battery will last up to three weeks.

SmartHalo, which will retail for $149, is available for $99 for early adopters via a Kickstarter campaign that has already reached $39,000 of its $50,000 goal. The device will be brought to you by May of 2016, assuming the goal is reached.

The New iOS Based Content Discovery App From Hootsuite


One of the big social media management platform, Hootsuite, has launched a new iOS app to help users discover and share more content easily on mobile devices.

The app, named “Suggestions for mobile”, makes it easier for Hootsuite users to discover, schedule and share various content from their smartphones. In fact, the app aims to take the guesswork out of deciding which content to share with followers by providing a curated list of timely articles and blog posts based on a users’ interest and expertise. Moreover, Hootsuite’s Suggestion for mobile app can also help users to have a better engagement with their current followers and build stronger relationships.

“The ability to share quality content with followers is critical to social success,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite. “Customers often tell us that they want to share more on social media, but that it’s too time-consuming. Suggestions for mobile allows people to easily find and share content wherever they are and when it’s most convenient for them.”

With Suggestions, users can reduce the time it takes to discover and share content to social networks with a single swipe. Content scheduling can be done in advance too. It is important to note that Suggestions for mobile is also available as a Web feature in Publisher.


“We use Suggestions to improve the heartbeat of our clients’ social media profiles and they are thrilled with the content they’re seeing. Not only are the suggested articles relevant to their industries, but they are also interesting and timely. We like Suggestions so much, we also use it for our own brand,” said Jonathan Goodman, president of Internet marketing agency, Halyard Consulting.

LinkedIn Job Search Is Available On Google Play


Just last year LinkedIn launched its official Job Seeker app for iOS, now the company has revealed a similar app for Android.

The world of job seeking can be time consuming. From secretly stalking the open requirements page of your dream company to sending endless applications into the black hole of online job listings, your job search can quickly begin to feel like a job in and of itself.

Enter the brand new LinkedIn Job Search app for Android, a one-stop shop for Android users’ job seeking needs. The app brings all of the features iOS members have come to rely on with their app counterpart, but was built from the ground up specifically for the Android experience. The app features left and right hand navigation menus and an action bar at the top of all main pages so you’re never more than a tap away from discovering your next career move.

The LinkedIn Job Search app for Android provides users with the same features the iOS app offers, including customisable search and recommended jobs. That said, the app was created specifically for Android, as it features left and right-hand navigation menus and an action bar at the top of all main pages.


According to LinkedIn’s announcement, more than 40%t of the social network’s members are already leveraging its Job Search Apps. The app is currently available in all English-speaking countries in the Google Play store.

“Having your job search at your fingertips can help the entire experience feel more manageable. Whether you’re on Team iOS or Android, let LinkedIn do the heavy lifting for you. We’re here to help you get hired.”

WhatsApp Has Garnered More Than 700 Million Active Users In 2015


With no less than 700 million active users, WhatsApp has a little more than half as many users as Facebook.

Jan Koum, the CEO and cofounder of WhatsApp, has embraced the spirit of new year with a Facebook post, saying the user numbers of his chatting app. WhatsApp now has 700 million monthly active users, up from 600 million at the end of August.


The overall number of users combine to send more than 30 billion daily messages. That’s more than four messages for every person on Earth. Facebook acquired the messaging app in February for a then shocking $16 billion (plus another $3 billion on stock incentives). Since then, the app has steadily added users, leading some to predict that it would top 1 billion faster than Facebook.

While it is relatively unknown in the US, WhatsApp is particularly large in Asia. The messaging service market in Asia is particularly competitive, attracting investments from other major tech companies. E-commerce giant Alibaba took a $215 million stake in Tango and Chinese conglomerate Tencent continuously grows WeChat. Monthly active users is the most popular metric used to analyze the size and often the success of tech companies.

HashAtIt: A Free Hashtag Tracker Tool


When it comes to social media marketing, hashtag is one of the most effective way to get your messages spread.

With hashtags, you can track and interact with latest topics and make your content more noticeable and relevant. However, since hashtags are used on numerous social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, it can be quite hard to keep track of what’s trending on the Internet across all these big platforms.

If you feel discouraged with the amount of effort that you need to commit to deal with hashtags, HashAtIt might be your answer. Billed as “The First Social Search Engine for HASHTAGS (#)”, the app offers you the ability to search tags on today’s most popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

HashAtIt searches these popular social networking sites in real time, giving users the information they want without having to visit multiple news outlets. With HashAtIt, you can see what’s happening around the world on any topic that interests you and get it without any censorships. When you see a hashtag on one of your social feeds, a TV show, event, magazine, or anywhere else, you can type that word/phrase into our search box to learn more about it. Follow, join or share the conversation just by clicking the Share button.

With HashAtIt you can:

  • Search and look up any #Hashtag.
  • Create your own #Hashtag boards
  • Customize your #Hashtag boards
  • Easily share your #Hashtag boards with followers and friends.


  • 100% free
  • Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or email.
  • Filter your #Hashtag feeds.
  • All results are in One Place in Real Time.

Apple Free Apps Now Labeled As ‘Get’


If you used the Mac or iOS App Store lately, you might have noticed slight difference.

Apps that are free to download no longer carry the “Free” designation. Instead, they say “Get.” The decision comes after pressure from the European Commission (EC). Over the summer, the EC was able to successfully force Google to relabel its apps that offer in-app purchases. As a result, Google changed the label of its “Top Free Apps” and “Top Free Games” categories to simply, “Top Apps” and “Top Games” in European Union countries.

The EC said labeling games as “free” could mislead customers as the true cost of a game, once in-app purchases were taken into account. Apple has worked over the last year to be more compliant with EU and U.S. regulators, especially when it comes to apps targeting kids. Rather than maintain different branding in different countries’ App Stores, Apple simply replaced “Free” with “Get” on all non-Apple apps. Apple apps that are free still maintain the “Free” designation.

The “Get” designation shows up whether an app has in-app purchase options or not.

Google Fit Is The New Threat For Apple’s HealthKit


It looks like Google has taken the recent Apple’s HealthKit issue more seriously.

Google’s big concern is proven with the release of Google Fit, a fitness tracking app for Android.

The app (which connects to your existing Google account) acts as a main dashboard for tracking your fitness records and health goals. Like HealthKit, Google Fit extracts the data into the sensors in your smartphone to supervise on your daily activities like steps and active minutes. Users can also manually add exercise and other activities, such as biking and walking.

Google Fit’s dashboard, which also available on the web, tracks your activities over time and your progress toward exercise or weight loss goals. Eventually, you will also be able to connect Google Fit to third party apps and devices, including Android Wear smartwatches and fitness trackers from Runtastic, Polar and Basis


Google Fit’s dashboard tracks your activity and progress toward goals over time.

To make it easier for third-party app integration, Google also released the full versions of its Google Fit APIs for developers. A preview version of its software development kit for Google Fit has been released earlier this year. It contained a series of early partners, including Nike, Runtastic, RunKeeper, who will be among the first developers to make their apps Google Fit-compatible. The first batch of apps is expected in “the coming weeks.”

“Rooms”: The Latest Anonymous Group App From Facebook


There is always a moment when you want to go where nobody knows your name.

Here is Facebook’s much-anticipated anonymous social app. The app, which called “Rooms”, allows people to create a “room” on any topic. The room can then be customized with colors, icons and photos — even the Like button can be changed. Text, photos and videos can be posted to a room’s feed, creating an ongoing multimedia conversation. The goal of the app is to transfer the utility of message boards to the mobile world.

“Basically it is a feed of photos, videos, and text — not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook — with a topic determined by whoever created the room”

The most unique trait of this app lies on its anonymity feature. The app allows users to sign in with “whatever name makes you feel most comfortable and proud.” Users can create different names for each room. Rooms can be shared through invitations that look like QR codes. You take a picture of the invitation, and the app scans your recent photos for the QR code and signs you into the room, like this:


In fact, to get started on Rooms, Facebook requires users who don’t already have an invite to a room to take a screenshot of a QR code that the app provides. New users can then access one of four recommended rooms: “backpack diaries”, “noms from above”, “kicks from above” and “parkour spots” — by taking yet another screenshot of a QR code.

Obviously Rooms is a separate app form Facebook, since it does not require users to have a Facebook account, nor does it allow users to import lists of friends. The invitation process means each room can be as public or private as its owner and members wish. The invite codes can be posted anywhere online or share just among a select group of people. Each room can also be customized to a certain level of privacy, including whether or not the room’s post can be discovered on search.


Unfortunately, some issues arise regarding the app’s availability on iTunes. Some people who attempted to download the app have reported their failure to acquire the app on their Smartphone.