Users of Apple’s iPhone are about to get a new way to browse their Facebook feeds and find other engaging articles that have been posted on the service: a visually focused application called 'Paper', reports the New York Times.
This morning, Facebook is announcing a new standalone iPhone app called Paper. It is not just another app; it’s a complete reimaging of Facebook itself. Once you've used it, you may never want to open the standard Facebook app again!
Always stylish and smart Apple owners will have a very user friendly tool that does away with buttons unlike the regular Facebook mobile app. The new app does away also with menus and other distractions. Its focus is on making it easy to consume content. Everything appears full screen and you move around the app by swiping or pinching the screen.
This new application the ‘Paper’ will be available on Monday in the United States when you will see the updates from your news feed, one at a time. Photos of wide scenes like the Grand Canyon expand beyond the screen, with a tilt or twist of the phone allowing you to change your perspective to see other parts of the image. Videos start playing automatically. Longer posts appear in one scrollable chunk.
Beyond your feed, you can drill down into topics like headlines, the planet, creators and cute animals, where you will see stories and visuals selected by Facebook’s algorithms as well as a handful of human editors. Some come from content partners, like CNN, National Geographic and The New York Times, which have optimized the look of their material on the app. Other articles are drawn from posts that have been made publicly on the service, such as artists’ photos of their work or celebrities’ posts
Michael Reckhow, the Facebook product manager overseeing the project, in an interview stated, ‘We hope that this helps to connect people directly to the source of the content.’
As a bonus for users, there are no ads! You can focus on reading without interruption.
Paper, which has been under development for the past year, is the latest addition to Facebook’s family of single-purpose apps, which includes Messenger for instant messaging and Instagram for sharing photos and videos.
‘One of the things we want to do over the next few years is build a handful of these great, new experiences,’ Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said Wednesday while discussing the company’s fourth-quarter financial results.
‘This is really focused on content discovery and content browsing,’ said Mike Matas, Paper’s product designer. Mr. Matas, a former Apple designer, joined Facebook in 2011 when his start-up, Push Pop Press, was acquired by the social network, and he has been working on the concepts behind the app ever since.
But Paper’s combination of social signals from friends and selections by human editors goes outside the box and Paper is less a replacement for Facebook’s app than a chance for the company to try out something very different from what it’s done before — and get another icon on your iPhone’s home screen in the process.
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