January 15, 2014 weblog
Facebook rumored to be readying rollout of Paper, Flipboard-like newsreader for phones
(Phys.org) —Facebook has for some time been rumored by several media outlets to be working on a newsreader to be incorporated into its newsfeed (or to replace it altogether). Now comes word from Mike Isaac, in a post on Re/Code that he has been given insider information telling him that Paper, a new newsreader (mainly for smarphone users) will likely be rolled out as early as the end of this month, and it will have a "visually stunning paper-like format." He adds that his sources tell him that Facebook has been working on Paper for several years and that it's being created by the same team that provides Facebook's current News Feed.
It's no secret that Facebook has been investigating ways to get people to keep on logging into its world-wide phenomenon (with over a billion users) on a regular basis, particularly as many media sources have been claiming that young people are abandoning Facebook for newer and cooler sites. To stem that tide, Facebook is apparently trying to add services that will cause users to want to visit the site even if their friends have stopped posting interesting things. The idea behind Paper is to display news items that Facebook thinks people will find interesting. If it can do that, then the thinking is, people will want to log in just to see what's been posted.
Of course, Facebook isn't alone in this line of reasoning, others sites (such as Flipboard) offer newsreaders that do much the same thing. The difference with Facebook is that news items will be mixed in with posts from friends, providing one place for people to find out everything they want to know about people they know, as well as what's going on in the rest of the world.
Facebook itself isn't commenting on Paper, insisting they don't discuss rumors, speculation, etc. Isaac insists that despite the lack of news from the company itself, Paper is real, and unless something dire happens (such as user testing indicating that no one wants or will use it) Paper will be out and available for use before the end of the month.
© 2014 Phys.org