Facebook is reportedly building a breaking news notification app

Right now, the easiest way to read breaking news on your smartphone is to download a dedicated news reader app, something like Paper or Flipboard -- but rumor has it that Facebook is working on something different. According to Business Insider, Facebook is developing a decentralized news app that simply pushes breaking news notifications and links to your mobile device. The app is reportedly in its early stages, but could be a way for Facebook to displace Twitter as a favorite place to look for breaking news.

The app sounds relatively simple: users will subscribe to various news feeds from a curated list and wait. When breaking news hits, those publications will be able to push short alerts to their subscriber's phones, complete with a 100-character blurb and a link to the coverage on the publication's website. That's about it. By reducing the news app to nothing but notifications and links, Facebook doesn't force publications into formatting their breaking news content for a stylized reader app or its Instant Articles.

On the other hand, you could probably just set up mobile notifications for your favorite news website's Twitter account, or install their app (you have ours -- with breaking news push notifications enabled -- right?).

Update: A Facebook spokesperson responded to our request for more information to let us know that the company doesn't "comment on rumors or speculation."

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