Thursday, February 6, 2014

Facebook's new "Paper" app: a game changer?

In the firm’s first Creative Labs project, Facebook releases Paper – stories from Facebook. This is a new initiative to reinvent the Facebook timeline and also serves as a way to aggregate content outside the Facebook ecosystem (Hamburger, 2014). The free iPhone app reached the top of the Apple iOS store within hours of release. Facebook has yet to add an Android version and a native iPad version (Harding, 2014).

The Texas Social Media Research Institute Page
as shown in the iOS Facebook Paper app.
The iPhone app can be customized to include outside sources from categories such as Technology, Headlines, and Pop culture among others. These customizations present stories relevant to various users. This mixture between news feed and curated publisher content seems to be a way to diversify the news feed. Here is an example of how to pull in publisher content when customizing Facebook Paper:
From the news feed, one tap will bring a story to full screen. Just as quickly, a swipe will take the story out of view. The simplistic nature of the app makes the user generated content pop.
Here are some examples of how the app shows various media:

The interface is all about swiping left, right, up and down to move between stories.

View the official video by Facebook about the new iOS iPhone app:
Introducing Paper from Facebook on Vimeo.

The interesting thing about Facebook Paper is how it does not promote itself as being a Facebook app. The predominant things that a user would want from the stock Facebook app such as friend requests, messages, and notifications do appear in this new app (Dellinger, 2014). This app seems to set the stage for how Facebook views itself moving forward.

If you have used Facebook Paper, let us know if you prefer it over the stock Facebook app. Which app will you be using more? Sound off in the comments below.

Dellinger, A. (February 3, 2014). Digital Trends. In Facebook Paper is half social network, half Flipboard, and fully  awesome. Retrieved February 6, 2014, from http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/facebook-paper-review/.
Hamburger, E. ( February 3, 2014 12:12 pm). The Verge. In This just in: Paper is the best Facebook app ever. Retrieved February 6, 2014, from http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/3/5373488/facebook-paper-app-review.
Harding, X. (February 5, 2014 9:48 AM EST). International Digital Times. In Facebook Paper Android Release: When Can Google Users Download Zuckerberg's Latest App?. Retrieved February 6, 2014, from http://www.idigitaltimes.com/articles/21787/20140205/facebook-paper-android-release-download-app-mobile.htm.

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