Facebook rumored to be working on mobile news reading service

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| June 23, 2013

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Facebook has made quite a few major mobile moves recently, including dropping $1 billion for photo-sharing service Instagram and releasing a new Android launcher known as Facebook Home.  Exactly what Facebook's next major product launch will be is a mystery for now, but if a new report is to be believed, one possibility is a mobile new reading application.

Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal claim that Facebook is working on a service known internally as "Reader" that collects news content from users and publishers and displays it in a mobile-friendly format. The project has reportedly been in the works for over a year at this point, and the current iterations are said to resemble existing mobile app Flipboard. The goal of Reader, the WSJ's sources claim, is to get users to spend more time with Facebook on their smartphones and tablets and encourage them to get deeper into its content rather than simply skimming the News Feed.

One of the tipsters that contributed to this report says that Facebook's mobile users typically spend only a few minutes inside the company's apps, and so it's no surprise that Facebook wants to get those folks to spend more time in its apps and view more ads. A news reader-type of service could do just that, getting users more engrossed in Facebook's content with a new Flipboard-style format and keeping them inside of Facebook's apps for an extended period of time.

Unfortunately, there's no word yet on when or if Facebook's Reader service might actually launch to the public, so for now we'll just have to speculate about the project and wait for more details to leak out. Does Facebook Reader sound like a service that you would use?

Via The Wall Street Journal