Facebook today finally announced its own news and story sharing app named as the Paper, which will work like the Flipboard and help users to explore and share stories from friends and others. Facebook will launch the app in phases and will first launched it for the iPhone in the US on February 3. Also Read - You can now use WhatsApp web without your phone
The app will allow users to access news articles or stories as well as photos and videos that a user’s friends have shared in their News Feeds. Also, it will let a user customize their Paper by choosing story types as per their interests and selecting themed sections and topics ranging from photography and food to design and other topics. Facebook promises to display all of these including the photos in a photo-intensive layout.
For Paper, Facebook has also partnered with a number of publications which will help it fetch the articles and stories easily.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear at the earnings call today that the company will indeed be bringing out a number of Facebook-branded applications for its users.
Paper is critical to Facebook to increase engagement on the social network, which is facing stiff competition from Twitter that has become the primary source for breaking news as well as curated content consumption apps like Flipboard.
With Paper, Facebook hopes to solve the content discoverability problem that is currently plaguing its news feed, where users are not seeing meaningful content.
Facebook wants to be a mobile first service and over the last year has launched stand-alone mobile apps like Messenger and Capture. It continued to run Instagram as a separate app even after acquiring the company.
In the last quarter of 2013, Facebook had 945 million monthly active mobile users and most of its new users and revenues will come from mobile only.