As you probably heard, Facebook is launching its Paper app, which is basically a news app similar to Flipboard and Feedly. The app will be released for iPhone on February 3 in the United States. But is it any different from the news apps that already exist? And more importantly, should you care?
Facebook is sure expecting you to care. It’s the first product to come from Facebook Creative Labs and it’s safe to assume this is one of the new products that Mark Zuckerburg was referring to when he said, “new and engaging mobile experiences” coming out of Facebook.
Here’s what the company said about the app:
“Paper makes storytelling more beautiful with an immersive design and fullscreen, distraction-free layouts. We’ve also made it easier to craft and share beautiful stories of your own.”
For clarification on that, check out this video:
So, what’s the big deal? I actually think this app is pretty awesome looking. It’s certainly a more aesthetically-pleasing version of the current Facebook app. Basically, posts are now brought together in a more magazine-style format in the hopes that users will spend more time looking at posts, stories and images in their newsfeed.
Dieter Bohn, a writer for The Verge, seems to think Paper is an significant app:
“It’s a complete re-imagining of Facebook itself. Once you’ve used it, you may never want to open the standard Facebook app again [...] Simply put, it’s much, much better.”
What’s neat about Paper is that it combines users’ Facebook news feeds with news implementation (like Flipboard’s app). So you basically have everything you need in one, nicely-designed app.
The first section of Paper will be your normal Facebook news feed and it will feature a better design for photos and video, and users will have the ability to read longer posts. The second part of the app is the news content. Users customize their Paper experience by choosing from a wide array of topics such as photography, sports, food, science or design. This content is curated from a specific content curation team that Facebook hired. So you know it’s good.
And what I think is really cool is the tilting. Sounds silly, but it looks awesome. Instead of pushing buttons, users can flip through stories by tilting the phone or swiping with their fingers. For wide photos, you can pan from side to side by tilting the phone. That’s awesome!
Submitting your stories is also different from the Facebook app. You can actually preview your story before sharing.
So is this a game-changer in the app world? I’d like to think so. One thing is for sure, however, it’s a game-changer for Facebook.