Push Notifications for Everyone: App.net Launches ‘Broadcast’

You don’t have to make your own app or hire an editor to handle push notification headlines for it anymore. App.net, the social networking and micro-blogging site, launches a new service, Broadcast, today, allowing anyone — from the freelance blogger to web magazine mogul — to send out their own push notifications.

All you have to do is download the app, released today on both Android and iOS markets, set up your ‘broadcast channel,’ and publish your notification. On the consumer side, they’ll have to sign up, too. And subscribe to you. But CEO Dalton Caldwell doesn’t see it as a hassle:

What we’re hoping is that the value proposition to the consumer is that you’re getting push notifications from publishers that you really want, and it’s just about downloading an app. The consumer won’t have to use the other features of app.net if they don’t want to. We’re tyring to make something super simple, and super clean.

And super accessible. On both ends, it’s totally free. Usrs can send out as many push notificcations to their followers as they like. But Caldwell hopes they’ll check themselves. Push notifications work best when used sparingly, and this service might not be for the Buzzfeeds or Gawkers of the media world, which post a bazillion (technical term) times a day. Notifications work best for what Caldwell calls the “low volume, high yield” sorts of outlets — web comics, publishers that do longform reporting, and the like. He says:

I think it’s great for pubs that aren’t publishing ten things a day — you can’t send out ten alerts a day or people won’t subscribe. The optimist in me is that this will be used by folks who aren’t playing that game.

Non-profit news outlets should take note. Instead of spending money to create and app and send notifications through it, you can reach out through the service . Caldwell says that if “you know how to run a mailing list, you can run the equivelent, as push notifications. And that’s powerful stuff.”

‘Broadcast’ was built using the infrastructure that App.net has spent the last year building up:

Our goal for last year was to build the best infrastructure we could. We’re using a lot of things that already existed from a year ago. That’s why we made it – our thinking was making the best infrastructure we possibly could and then make nifty stuff that sits on top of it…[Broadcast] seems pretty handy. I’m optimistic that it will be used for good and not evil.

It’s cost effective, easy to use, and solves a problem. It makes me wonder what other ‘nifty’ products we can look forward to.

What do you think — would you set up a channel?