Facebook Announce Visual News Reader App Called "Paper"
Facebook today announced the launch date for its new standalone news app called “Paper“. The announcement came just hours after Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, promised to launch more standalone apps such as its current one, messenger.
The iOS news reader app displays content based on a range of 19 categories that interest the reader, such as sports, tech, pop culture and LOL. It is set to launch in the US on February 3rd – one day before Facebook’s 10th birthday.
Paper is the first app to come from Facebook Creative Labs, a small group of people specifically formed to create new apps for phones. To begin with, the app is going to be released ad free, but this could just be a temporary measure while they monitor users’ engagement with it.
On Wednesday, during the Facebook earnings conference call, Mark Zuckerberg said:
“One theme that should be clear from our work on products like Messenger, Groups and Instagram is that our vision for Facebook is to create a set of products that help you share any kind of content you want with any audience you want.”
The Paper app will still pull in news stories and photos that your friends share on Facebook and will display them along side any selected interests in a photo intensive layout. Each part will have a number of rotating images along the top, with individual content underneath that. It was intentionally designed to step away from the classic blue Facebook design with its own individual appearance.
The initial appearance of the app is similar to that of Flipboard, a similar app that was launched back in 2010. Flipboard pulls in stories from Facebook, meaning that it is now in a vulnerable position as Facebook can put a stop to that at any time.
Facebook and Paper will still be linked however, with anything shared on the Paper app also appearing on the user’s Facebook News Feed. The app does provide a nice preview feature though, which allows users to view their post before publishing it.
It seems that Facebook is aware of the fact that mobile users are now focusing more and more on single use apps, and after its Snapchat clone called “Poke” failed badly, they do seem to now be heading in the right direction.