Is Facebook Paper short for Facebook NewsPaper?
Thursday’s unveiling of a new standalone content curation app, Facebook Paper, comes after weeks of speculation and rumors about Facebook hiring editors (the humans in the mix) to help curate content for the hyper-visual mobile app. Now it’s real, though not here yet. Facebook Paper arrives in the AppStore on Feb. 3. That leaves us a few days to speculate on what Facebook is really up to and if, in fact, this is the social media giant ever-so-gingerly dipping its toe into the content creation / media company waters.
First, though, a little primer on the app. Think of it as Facebook Magazine, a standalone app that starts with your News Feed, but looks nothing like the familiar blue Facebook mobile app or web page. It’s full-frame images that seem to extend beyond the borders of your phone, videos that are ready to play with a tap, overlaid captions, posts from not only friends, but curated posts from Facebook editors who are experts in their fields and Facebook’s new topic areas.
Those topics read less like a social network and more like a content website: Sports, Science, Tech, Food Design and more. Facebook told me the app will start off with your own News Feed just like the traditional Facebook app (you do have to sign in to use it), but you can start dragging and dropping in topics to create a customized reading experience.
Watching the video and reading Facebook’s announcement, it’s hard to not come away with the idea that this Facebook magazine will soon feature “Facebook Original” content from those newly hired experts.