Amid speculation that Facebook is heading towards the same fate as the old Myspace and less than 24 hours after Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg promised more standalone apps in 2014; the company announced the launch of Facebook Paper.
Facebook Paper is the first app from Facebook Creative Labs, set up last year, which allows small teams within Facebook to create stand alone apps rather than trying to cram more and more things into the current Facebook App.
Paper is more than one of Facebook’s standard and sometimes annoying updates, it’s essentially a brand new, completely redesigned and reimagined app. Gone is the vertical scrolling feed which we have become accustomed to on Facebook and Twitter, now replaced with an immersive horizontal scrolling set of screens. At first glance Facebook Paper has a similar look to that of Flipboard which also utilizes a large tile like interface with horizontal scrolling.
There’s no doubt it’s a much more visually attractive interface but it’s not just the look and navigation style that has changed. As well as seeing your friends and pages you follow in the redesigned news feed, you’ll be able to subscribe to different “sections” including subjects such as sports, world news, food, photography and more. The stories in these sections aren’t just from publishers such as newspapers or magazines, they combine a myriad of different sources including public Facebook posts and blog posts selected by both Facebook’s human editors and the Paper algorithm.
As well as the redesigned interface it’s this news element that makes Paper stand out from the current app. Currently you only really see what your friends are posting or liking which works quite well if all your friends are interested in exactly the same things as you but if you’re the only friend interested in photography you might be missing a heap of content that interests you and this is where Paper has the opportunity to shine. Whether it will live up to the hype and promises however, will have to be seen.
The Facebook Paper app is due to launch for iphone users in the US on Monday 3rd Feb, the day before Facebook’s 10th birthday but there’s no word as yet as to when Australia will have access to it. At this stage there’s no mention of release date for the Andrioid and iPad versions although I’m sure they will follow soon after the launch assuming it’s as successful as they’re hoping.
By Daniel Martinovich
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