Facebook Here, Google Now

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook Begins Rolling Out Revamped Notifications Tab On Mobile.

Google doesn’t know who your friends are, who you chat with, or what news you care about. SAN FRANCISCO, United States—Facebook, making a bigger push to deliver personalized information to its members, said Monday it was expanding its mobile alerts to include sports scores, weather updates and local news updates.

The social network announced today it was rolling out the updated feature after requests from people to see things like friends’ milestones and birthdays in their notifications. “With this update, your current notification settings will not change, and you can adjust those any time in your Settings,” explained Keith Peiris, Facebook’s product manager in a blog post . “We’ll continue to listen to feedback about the information people find most useful and may periodically add more cards to choose from,” Peiris wrote. Just like how Facebook doesn’t know what’s in your email, what directions you map, what you web search for, or what’s going on in your Android phone. Facebook’s expanded alerts will now also include community news and events, storm warnings and other weather information, and suggestions for television programs or nearby movies. “We’ve heard feedback that people wanted to add important information that they can easily see, all in one place,” said Facebook product manager Keith Peiris. That little tab plagued by a tireless numeric red badge that led to an endless feed of social happenings is getting a much-needed upgrade that really heightens its utility.

The update, which is rolling out gradually across iOS and Android for users in the United States, introduces a new set of “cards” into the space once reserved for your friends’ likes, comments, birthdays, and event invitations. The social network is already busy pushing out a new emotional expression system called “Reactions” which will finally allow moody social media users to easily hurl non-verbal abuse.

The notifications tab is now more of a you-centric newsfeed than ever, sucking in some of the best widgets from the Facebook sidebar on desktop and giving notifications on mobile a much more structured appearance. Currently, users are only able to “like” content, which can look a little strange when someone is mourning the anniversary of their mother’s death or posting news of a massacre in a faroff land. Despite Facebook’s FB 1.55% ongoing claim that its sophisticated algorithms filter each user’s News Feed to show them only content they want to see, Tuesday’s move is a tacit nod from the company that a cheat sheet that can be customized is needed. News gets broken up into multiple categories — you’ll see stories trending across all of Facebook along with stories shared frequently wherever you happen to live.

Although the news has prompted excitement on social media, many Facebookers are disappointed Zuckerberg has not made good on an apparent promise to introduce a “dislike” button. As much as we enjoy spending absurd amounts of time scrolling through our seemingly unlimited New Feeds, sometimes we just need to be alerted when the things we really care about happen.

It can pull relevant info like flight times and changes from your email, display breaking world news updates, or give you a heads up about traffic between your home and office. If users have Location History enabled in the app, you’ll be able to get the most out of the tab and add a lot of interesting cards that are hyper-localized. Right now, for example, the sports scores you see are tied to which teams you have “liked” on Facebook — a step millions of us haven’t taken, and never will. Facebook did recently start testing M, a concierge feature that lets you use Messenger to send requests and chores to a hybrid system of human brains and artificial intelligence. But today Facebook launched what could be considered the closest thing it has to a traditional personal digital assistant inside the Notifications tab…it just didn’t name it.

Previously customization in the FB app, whether in regards to notifications or privacy, has focused more on checkboxes of what is and what is not included. But most people will stick with the defaults, and the result is a kind of secondary News Feed that (at least in the case of news and sports scores) carries much of the same information as the original. Notifications have traditionally been the place in a social app where you see the absolute most personally relevant information; by expanding what it sees as notification-worthy, Facebook may be diluting that. Facebook’s contextual assistant is built into the place people already spend so much of their time, whether they’re on iOS or Android: Facebook, and more specifically, Facebook’s notifications tab. And it’s not buried as just another option in the Facebook app’s “More” navigation drawer, where products like “Nearby Places” or the “Saved” read-it-later feature have been banished and forgotten.

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