Facebook’s News Reader App, Paper, Launches Today on iOS in the US

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Facebook’s News Reader App, Paper, Launches Today on iOS in the US

Facebook Creative Labs have launched their first ever product, a curated visual news reader app called Paper. If you live in the US and own an iPhone, you can download it now from the App Store.

Paper is already being lauded by the tech and mobile app community, receiving rave reviews and high praise for its design and user experience. Most are saying its unlike anything Facebook has done before.

What sets Paper apart from other news reader apps out there is its distraction-free, full screen design that completely immerses its users. Paper is made up of sections that you can customize yourself, pulling in stories from your News Feed and external sources including authoritative publications across the web.

Each section in Paper uses a combination of human and machine curation. The Paper algorithm curates stories, pictures and videos that have been posted publicly to Facebook, while human editors will throw in interesting content from lesser known sources.

With Paper, Facebook wants to surprise and delight its users by showing them content they may have missed, or content from sources and authors they never would have sought out on their own.

Another great feature of Paper is that it doesn’t completely separate you from the Facebook experience, it adds to it. You can share content, or compose your own content to be shared on Facebook right from within Paper. You will also be able to access Facebook notifications and messages without having to leave the app.

If you have had a chance to download and use Paper, what do you think of it so far? I really want to know because I’m an Android user living in Canada, so it might be a while before I get to use it myself. Let me know what I’m missing out on!

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • James Halloran

    Ah, that explains why I can’t find it in Google Play! I’m an Android user, too. Damn. I’m curious to see how this “distraction-free” news app will look, too, especially since Facebook is so advertising-friendly. I’ll have to see this to believe it, but someone tipped me off earlier that the content is all sponsored stories, so maybe that’s why it’s “distraction-free?”

    If that’s true, it’s basically native advertised stories.

    • Sophie Tran

      P.S. I was excited to download Facebook’s Paper app this morning. Utterly disappointed. However, it is interesting to note that the app categorizes content under interesting topics such as:

      Headlines (obviously why)
      Tech (obviously why)
      Equalize – with focus on gender/sex equality, etc.
      Glow – instead of “Beauty”
      Flavor – instead of “Cooking”
      Cute – lots of “awwwwwwww-someness” like cute puppies and kittens that FB users ‘like’ mindlessly (I’m guilty of it)

    • Sophie Tran

      James,IBTimes.com’s article on Facebook’s Paper app insinuates sponsored content.

      However, according to a recent article on SproutSocial, Facebook’s Paper app will launch without sponsored content yet anticipates that an ad-free Paper app will not last long.

      According to the DailyGlobe (who briefly mentioned the failure of Facebook’s previous product called Facebook Home), Facebook’s Paper app will “give way” to more sponsored content.

      In my opinion, I highly doubt that Facebook’s Paper app will survive without ads and sponsored content. Think about how Facebook pretty changed the TOS and started allowing so-called “relevant” or “contextual ads” to appear on the sidebar. As if that was not intrusive enough, Facebook integrated “Sponsored Stories” and posts into users’ super private newsfeed that was supposedly strictly reserved for our immediate/closed networks. This happened after Facebook built Facebook Pages… which was part 1 of Sponsored Content.

      So again, I highly doubt that Facebook’s Paper app will be “ads-free.” Facebook is probably only claiming that they’ll be “ad-free” now at the introduction of their new product to gain traction…

      What do you think?

  • Daniel

    The app is nice, but it looks a lot like Flipboard. I don’t think I’ll give Facebook Paper App a try, because I’m using Hinto.co to read my news every day and it’s great.

  • Jeric

    After reading this post, I checked out the app’s overall feature here: Facebook.com/paper. I think this is really amazing!

  • bnemaei

    why not android first it has more user anyways. i want to check it out but im not buying an iphone for it

  • Chris

    Facebook Paper is just another content discovery app, think Stumbleupon, revisited. I’ve downloaded the app and while it is fun to swipe and discover new content, I prefer to use Reeder for content discovery.