Facebook’s breaking news app sounds a lot like Twitter

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FacebookPaper
Facebook's alleged breaking news app would send out bite-sized alerts similar to tweets.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Facebook is working on a breaking news app that would deliver news outside of the main Facebook app, according to a report. The app would ask users to pick out publications and topics that interest them, then it would broadcast bite-sized news alerts when new articles get published.

Publications that get on board would be able to send out instant notifications to all of its followers for the latest news. They’re allowed 100 characters of text and a link to the news article. Sounds pretty much like a tweet, right?

The social network is apparently looking to expand upon the news it already displays in the News Feed and in trends on Facebook. Since it’s a separate download from the Facebook app, the breaking news feature shouldn’t be forced upon any current users.

Meanwhile, not long ago former CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo announced that the social network has finally found its identity as a “real-time information network” with a focus on the distribution of news. It’s probably not a coincidence, then, that Facebook as of late has been capitalizing on integrating news.

It’s interesting that Facebook is choosing to create yet another different news app. It already launched the gorgeous Facebook Paper, which was supposed to be a marriage between your social News Feed and standard news from external sources, much like Flipboard. Facebook could have just baked these breaking news alerts into Paper and called it a day.

Business Insider said it has already “reviewed screenshots of the new product” and talked to a source in more detail about what the app might bring. Some companies are apparently already piloting the breaking news app and the few lucky ones should be ready alongside the coming launch. The app is reportedly only in alpha testing, so there might be a long way to go before it sees the light of day.