Social giant Facebook has announced plans to enter the mobile news arena with an article aggregator app.
The software, called ‘Paper’, will be the first app from Facebook Creative Labs – a specialist in-house unit tasked with producing innovative new products.
Discussing the app in a recent blog post, Facebook explained:
“The first section in Paper is your Facebook News Feed, where you’ll enjoy inspiring new designs for photos, videos, and longer written posts.
“You can customize Paper with a choice of more than a dozen other sections about various themes and topics – from photography and sports to food, science and design. Each section includes a rich mix of content from emerging voices and well-known publications.”
While the app is certainly a first for Facebook, others offering a similar service are already available on the App Store and Google Play. One example is Flipboard, an app launched for the iPad in 2010 – and later for other mobile devices – that lets users access all the content of their various social media news feeds in single, magazine-style interface.
Other aggregator apps have focused on offering stories from different publishers as opposed to social media content, with some offering feature articles and news falling under a particular niche. Appy Gamer, for example, focusses on gaming news and allows users to customise a home page by adding categories that interest them.
Speaking to The Verge, the product designer behind Paper, Mike Matas, said the app will serve as a publishing tool, offering social media users a way to view and publish “great” content.