Facebook launches Paper, an application to read news
It might be time to make room for another Facebook app on our home screen.
On February 3, the iPhone version of Paper, a news consumer application similar to other existing options, such as Flipboard, Feedly and Zite, was launched in the United States; and, presumably, other versions will follow.
The idea is to present the longer content of Facebook in a more attractive magazine style that encourages users to spend more time viewing the messages, stories and images.
The first section of the new application will be the Facebook news wall. It will not include all the functions of the native Facebook application, but it will show our friends' messages, along with stories from other news categories, in a more polished and beautiful package.
According to Facebook, the Latest News section will have a new design for photos and videos and will offer the ability to read longer text posts.
Users will be able to personalize the application by adding more than a dozen other themes, "from photography and sports, to food, science and design."
There will be no buttons to press. Instead, users will be able to scroll through stories and other posts by tilting the phone in various ways and sliding their fingers across the screen.
When we publish our own stories, Paper will allow us to preview them before sharing them.
Paper will be the first launch of Facebook Creative Labs, dedicated exclusively to the development of new mobile applications for the site.
During the first days of its IPO in 2012, Facebook received some attacks for failing to make money from the rapid growth of the mobile phone market. However, that appears to have completely changed and Paper could provide the company with another mobile platform on which to advertise.
Recently, Facebook reported that 945 million of its 1.2 billion users visited the site via smartphone or tablet in the past few months and that 53% of the site's ad revenue came from mobile devices, which is a significant growth from 23% last year and zero in 2011.