Facebook is pulling the plug on Notify, its news app, which the social networking site launched in November 2015.
The real-time news-based app enabled users to select news alerts from a variety of publishers. Notify users would get summaries of the news they could click on to view the complete article.
However, judging by Facebook's decision to shut down Notify in just seven months, it seems the app's fortunes were dwindling.
On Thursday, June 2, Facebook thanked the users of the app and alerted them that it was ending support for Notify. However, this is not the end of the road for Notify. It is not exactly going away, since Facebook has revealed it will be "transitioning parts of Notify into other Facebook products."
In a statement to publication TechCrunch, the company officially confirmed that by Wednesday, June 8, it will start integrating the functionalities of Notify into alternative products from Facebook such as its Messenger app. Moreover, Notify will be removed from the App Store.
Facebook did not give an exact reason for shutting down Notify, but merely stated that it learned plenty on how to make alerts relevant and timely. Users of the app shared with the company that Notify enabled them to stay conversant about topics relevant to them.
Facebook is optimistic that the functionalities of Notify have immense potential and will augur well for the company.
"With more than 900 million people using Messenger each month, we think there is a great opportunity for publishers to reach even more people interested in real-time updates from their favorite sources," noted Facebook.
While Facebook may be keeping mum on the reason behind shutting down Notify, it is speculated that the app did not catch on as well as expected with consumers. Estimates from SensorTower, a mobile intelligence startup, suggest that Notify only saw a paltry 63,000 downloads in the seven months of its existence.
The figures then suggest that, since Notify was unable to drive significant traffic, Facebook has instead chosen to shut down the app, which was earlier deemed as just an experiment.