Just as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has promised, a new app called “Paper” was successfully launched recently. Paper
is a standalone news reader mobile app that will surface content from 19 different sections, including sports, tech, pop culture, and "LOL."
It gives you an opportunity to read stories and stay updated with news from the world’s best sources, and it allows you to share your personal stories with others around the world. The app also has a "Newsfeed" section, which is the same News Feed users are accustomed to on the native apps, but with a new design. It was designed to differ from commonly used apps. Users have the opportunity to subscribe to certain topics of interest and enjoy related material while staying up to date.
However, content isn’t filtered perfectly. For example, a user in San Francisco will see the same items in his sports section as a user in Chicago. However, the future of Paper may witness an opportunity for personalization. In addition, the app offers a chance for users to preview their material before sharing them on Paper.
All material shared will appear on that user’s Facebook News Feed as well. Although 53% of the company’s revenue came from mobile ads last year, Paper has been designed to launch without ads for the time being, to see the level of engagement without them. While it’s already looking rather successful, some changes may be more beneficial for version 2.0.
Customizable subtopics allows you to look for more detailed information. For example, under sports, you’ll be able to specify your favorite team. The “read-later” feature will also be helpful. It may help you manage time, especially since the app doesn’t show the clock.
While the Facebook app requires you to scroll vertically, one of the many features of paper allows users to scroll horizontally to flip through news stories. Another feature that Paper has to offer is its rich visuals.
Like Medium, Paper makes liberal use of white space to draw your eye towards photos or text, and like Flipboard, images are often full-bleed, taking over your entire screen. Such features make this app relatively similar to other apps with the same purpose. In his article “This just in: Paper is the best Facebook app ever,” Ellis Hamburger stated that “Apps like Circa and Flipboard are better than Paper at curating top news, since that’s their expertise, but I came away impressed by Paper’s editorial selections, and the hand crafted story cards designed for each publication.” Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Creative Labs, Facebook may have actually followed through with a successful app this time around.