Facebook notifications on your phone are about to look a lot different.
The social network announced Tuesday that it’s revamping the Notifications tab in its mobile apps to show users more information, including events happening nearby, movies playing at local theaters, nearby restaurants, weather updates and more.
The Notifications section in the Facebook app currently alerts you when friends interact with you — if a friend likes a post you’ve written or have been tagged in, for instance. The new Notifications tab, however, will give you more information about what’s happening in the world around you, similar to the way Google Now offers up tips based on your location.
This is an optional feature; Facebook won’t ping you with these notifications unless you enable Location History within the Facebook app.
In addition to showing you nearby events and places, other interests such as sports scores, reminders about TV shows you watch based on the pages you’ve liked, and friends’ life events will pop up in your notifications as well. You’ll be able to customize these notifications, so Facebook shouldn’t show you irrelevant information that you don’t want to see.
These bits of information will be divided into categories and displayed in a card-style format, comparable to Google Now.
Facebook says these new notifications will gradually roll out to the Facebook app for the iPhone and Android in the United States. It hasn’t given a specific time frame.
The change is another indication that Facebook is looking to become more of a personal assistant and not just a social network. For example, the company announced in August that it had started testing a new artificial intelligence -based service called M inside its Messenger app. M is a virtual assistant that can complete tasks on your behalf, such as purchasing items and delivering gifts, Facebook Messenger head David Marcus wrote in a Facebook post announcing the service. Facebook hasn’t said whether M will move beyond the testing phase, however.
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