Facebook Paper app to deliver news from friends and other sources with focus on big visuals [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Remember that Facebook news service that was rumored last year? Well it's finally (almost) here, and it's called Paper.
Paper is meant to show news stories both from a user's friends as well as from "emerging voices and well-known publications" that cover a variety of topics, including sports, food, science and photography. Content is broken up into special sections, and the main Facebook News Feed is the first one that'll be shown, complete with photos and written posts. Users can then add content from more than a dozen other sections that cover various topics.
The Paper app focuses on display large photos and videos, and so navigating through river of stories contained within the app is done with a lot gestures and swiping. Users can also pan around a large, high-resolution photo simply by tilting the phone. Videos that appear in a feed can autoplay and go full-screen. Finally, users will be able to contribute their own stories to Paper in a format similar to other posts, with large images and their own text.
With its large images and focus on swiping through stories, Facebook's Paper app definitely feels like a Flipboard-esque app for your News Feed and other content. Previous reports have claimed that just such an app was in the works at Facebook, with the goal being to get users more immersed in their News Feeds and to spend more time with Facebook, and it's clear that that is indeed what Facebook is going for with Paper. With its support for large, high-res photos, videos and other content, its obvious that Zuckerberg and Co. want you to do more with the 'Book rather than just skimming your News Feed a handful of times each day.
Paper will launch on the iPhone in the U.S. on Feb. 3, the day before Facebook's 10th anniversary. There's no word yet on when the app might make its way to other devices or platforms. Until we hear more, though, you can see Paper in action below by viewing Facebook's promo video as well as some more images of the app.
UPDATE: Facebook Paper is now available for download in the App Store. The app weighs in at 56.6MB, requires iOS 7 or later and is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. You can download it right here.