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Facebook has just killed off an app that you may not have even heard of

Notify from Facebook
If Facebook kills an app that you’ve never even heard of, did it really exist? Well, in the case of Notify, the answer to this half-baked philosophical conundrum is “yes.”

We know this because a quick look through Digital Trend’s archive turns up concrete evidence of the app. Interestingly, a video review by DT’s Joshua Smith, posted when the app launched seven months ago, suggests even then that this particular offering from Facebook was something of a non-starter. And now it’s most definitely stopped.

For those not in the know, and we assume that’s quite a lot of you, Notify delivered to your smartphone a stream of real-time news stories from high-profile media outlets chosen by you. It was also possible to select particular strands of content from each outlet rather than have its entire news output bombarding your phone the whole time.

The iOS-only app clearly had Twitter in its crosshairs, with the notifications appearing on your lock screen – i.e. before you even had a chance to think about opening Twitter to find the same information via Moments or your regular feed.

In a stroke of genius, Notifiy on Thursday delivered news of its own demise via a notification on Notify. It said, “Thanks for using Notify,” adding that it was transitioning elements of the app into other Facebook products.

In a more expansive statement to TechCrunch, the social networking giant listed Messenger as one of the beneficiaries, adding that the software will shortly be removed from the App Store.

Without going into any detail about why it was pulling the app, though we think we know why (TechCrunch showed data suggesting the app received a mere 63,000 downloads), Facebook said, “Since launching Notify, we’ve learned a lot about how to make notifications as timely and relevant as possible and we heard from people using the app that Notify helped them stay informed about things they cared about throughout the day.”

It continued, “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.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Facebook has zapped an app. At the end of last year, for example, the company shut down a trio of offerings – Slingshot, Riff, and Rooms – in one fell swoop. Like Notify, these also failed to grab the attention of mobile users.

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