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Facebook expands smartphone alerts to news, weather

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook, making a bigger push to deliver personalized information to its members, said Monday it was expanding its mobile alerts to include sports scores, weather updates and local news updates.

Until now, the huge social network’s alerts to smartphone users had been focused around postings by friends, birthdays and upcoming events.

Facebook’s expanded alerts will now also include community news and events, storm warnings and other weather information, and suggestions for television programs or nearby movies.

“We’ve heard feedback that people wanted to add important information that they can easily see, all in one place,” said Facebook product manager Keith Peiris.

Members will be able to personalize these messages for “things happening around your community, like local events and news that is popular in the city you live in,” Peiris added.

Facebook said the change will be rolling out gradually to users of Android and iOS devices but that the notifications will be opt-in.

“Your current notification settings will not change, and you can adjust those any time in your settings,” through “cards” on the social network, Peiris said.

“We’ll continue to listen to feedback about the information people find most useful and may periodically add more cards to choose from.”

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