So Facebook did something new with notifications. 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 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. In look and feel Facebook’s notifications tab now feels a lot more like a Google Now competitor.
The groupings of notifications, similarly called cards, give the feed some much-needed content and UI/UX upgrades. You can enable cards for items like Events or Birthdays, as well as new widgets like sports scores or tonight’s TV programming.
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.
The blog post detailed a few of the location-aware cards that will be available to users:
Things happening around your community, like local events and news that is popular in the city you live in
Weather updates, like current conditions and severe weather alerts
Movies playing in theaters near you
A list of nearby places to eat, with links to the places’ Facebook Pages and reviews
Also notable is that Facebook’s Trending news topics now has a much better place to live on mobile. Rather than being hidden in Search, trending news stories now have their own card in notifications.
Thankfully, users won’t be receiving any more “red badge” notification than usual within the app unless they specify to do so. Each card will include its own notifications settings.
A customizable notifications feed is an interesting step for Facebook. 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. Here Facebook is actually allowing users to arrange cards in a hierarchical way based on their preferences.
These changes will be gradually rolling out to iOS and Android users.