As Facebook approaches their 10th birthday, Mark Zuckerberg is giving Facebook fans a new treat. It is a curated visual news reader called Paper. Paper is the very first product from Facebook’s Creative Labs, which works to create new engaging mobile experiences. Zuckerberg’s goal is for Paper to become the newspaper of the modern age. It is available in the app store starting on February 3rd, just one day before Facebook’s decade long anniversary.
What sets Paper apart from other news readers?
You can drag and drop your own news sections depending on your interests. If you want sports news, you would select the Score section. If you want world news, you would add Headlines to your Paper. There are many options to choose from. There is an algorithm to Paper that selects posts that interest you from both mainstream media and also lesser known bloggers. Content from your Facebook friends will also be thrown in the mix. Paper will compete with the likes of Flipboard, Prismatic and Pulse.
What will it look like?
When you first click the Paper app, you will see information similar to that of your newsfeed. The experience will be very different though. You will be able to scroll horizontally through a mixture of personal stories as well as real news stories. You can scroll up to see more about each post or read the full story and see video. You can also view information from different sections that you are interested in. Paper gives you the opportunity to see more of what you really care about. There are no buttons in Paper, it’s all about swipes. You will need to learn a basic set of gestures.
So does this mean Facebook is becoming a media company?
No, Facebook prides itself on being a place for content creators, not creating the content themselves. Paper is a way of a publishing and viewing great content. Best part of all, there is no paid ads to ruin your reading experience!
Will you be checking out Paper?
- The Verge: http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/1/30/5360358/facebook-paper-iphone-app
- Mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/01/30/facebook-paper-app-analysis/
- Facebook Paper Tour: http://vimeo.com/85421325
(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post are for Sari Gordon who is the author and content creator.)