Facebook Introduces Paper Hybrid Mobile Reader

Facebook today introduced its anticipated news reader app called ‘Paper.’ It would be rolled out as a new app initially to iPhone on Monday, February 3. As a hybrid mobile reader, it would combine worldwide news with updates from friends and family.

The new app would target users who are into reading aggregated news from various media sources. Paper would take a more personal approach compared to rival newsreaders like Feedly and Flipboard.

The social networking site revealed that any user could customize Paper to make it more personalized through themed sections and stories that are based on users’ interests. Thus, the news content would not be randomly assigned by algorithm but would be set by readers themselves.

Interesting features

The Facebook News Feed would occupy the first section of the app. Instead of the typical timeline that is scrolled down on a dedicated mobile app, this app’s new design would show off not just photos but also videos and of course much longer posts.

Paper can be customized through choosing any of the sections (there are over a dozen of those). A user can build his own ‘Paper’ by mixing content based on his preference. News could be tapped from popular publications or from new voices.

Not surprisingly, the new app would come with the familiar Facebook features: Like, Share, and Comment buttons. But those would combine with new features, which include high-resolution panoramic pictures that can be viewed by tilting the device to explore more from each corner. Videos would also be played in full screen and through the auto-play function.

New home for content

Paper would be a new home for different types of content. It would facilitate sharing of personal stories not just through text but also through accompanying photos and/or videos. It would not differ that much with how Facebook works. But there would be a live preview feature that would enable users to see each of their posts before they are finally posted online. This way, changes could be made to make the posts more ideal and receptive.

Paper would be the first ever product to be released by Facebook’s Creative Labs. Developers and engineers are helped by the unit in creating new apps that may support various ways of telling stories. A few days ago, Paper made it to the news when reports emerged that Facebook is hiring editors for the new news app.

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About the author

Drew is a regular contributor covering trending topics.