Facebook is planning to give its notifications a major makeover, converting it into a central hub for news from across the site, according to Mashable, which first reported the news this week. Facebook is currently testing the new notifications tab and will begin rolling it out to mobile users sometime in the near future, per the same report.
The new notifications tab will include eight main sections, Facebook tells Mashable, including Birthdays; Life Events from friends; Events (scheduled, that you are participating in); Nearby Places, showing three suggestions for places to eat; Trending Topics, pulled from the showcase of the same name next to the News Feed; News Shared Locally, showing top-trending stories from your city; Today in the Past, reviewing most-shared moments from days of yore; and Nearby Friends, which requires both users to opt in to receive or be the subject of notifications.
In the version currently being tested, users can personalize the new notifications tab to hide any of the above sections if they’re not interested in them.
Above all, the main highlight of the revamped notifications is the inclusion of more location-based information and updates. However, the inclusion of more trending news (including locally-shared stories) is also noteworthy.
Last month Facebook was said to be in talks with news publishers including the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, to begin hosting news content directly on the social network. News stories would be hosted on Facebook and the social network would share the ad revenue with the publishers. Among other benefits, this would mean that Facebook users could read news content from reputable sources without having to leave the site.
Such an arrangement would be especially beneficial for mobile users, who wouldn’t have to wait around so long for advertising to load from slow-moving news sites.