Facebook Unveils Paper, Its News Reader And Flipboard Rival

The standalone iOS app stands as a stark contrast to the clutter of Facebook's news feed.

Facebook has taken the veil off its long-rumored news reader app, Paper, which launches Feb. 3 in the U.S. The first project from Facebook Creative Labs, Paper is a standalone iOS app to find and share news stories both on the app as well as Facebook.

Instead of following its usual mantras—which include "Move fast and break things" and "Done is better than perfect"—Facebook took its time on this project headed by Apple and Nest alum Michael Matas, with reports of the reader emerging even before Google shut down Reader last summer.

With complaints about Facebook's news feed getting bogged down by ads and irrelevant content, the app stands as a stark contrast with its simplicity and full-screen ("distraction-free") layout. Not to mention, there will be no ads on Paper—for the time being at least. Though Paper is not designed as a Facebook replacement, readers can post to the app and Facebook using its WYSIWYG composer. However, unlike Google Reader and the crop of replacements that have risen, users can't add specific RSS feeds to Paper. Instead, other highlighted stories will be curated by an internal team.

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  • Another me too product by FB. They copied most of the features from G+, started FB messenger after they realized Whatsapp has become too big and email feature when they thought they had to counter gmail. Quite some time since they launched anything 'new' & path breaking. Mind it, merely changing the UI doesn't constitute much.

  • Tammy Everts

    Facebook already doesn't show me 75% of the posts from friends and pages I follow. Why on earth would I entrust them with making sure I actually get to read all the articles from the publications I follow?

  • So, this morning I was scrolling through Facebook and there was a post from a page I don't "like", but it wasn't marked as a "suggested post" (although there were plenty of those, too). Does Paper mean I'll see fewer of these types of posts and more from my friends, family, and pages I like?