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31 Jan 2014

Facebook Apps Business

I can’t personally tell you how many apps I already have installed on my own phone, but one thing’s for certain: I’m definitely going to be adding another one to the list on Monday with Facebook’s new app– Paper. Unlike the Facebook app, which is completely functional, Paper is designed to be more of a news-consumption app, and many are saying that it’s very similar to already existing options like Feedly, Zite and Flipboard.

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What is Paper?

The idea behind Paper is to give users a more appealing way to read posts and stories and view photos– much like a magazine does. There are plenty of times when I’ve missed valuable content to share because I’m not subscribed to the right sources, but with this new standalone iOS news reader app, missing the latest news in my favorite categories will be a thing of the past (or at least I hope). Many are actually calling this the “modern age’s newspaper.”

If Paper ends up being successful, it could very well result in getting more people to share publicly, which could be a HUGE plus for businesses. After all, who doesn’t want to take the chance of acquiring massive numbers of Likes and new followers?

There’s a place for everything

On February 3rd, Facebook Paper users will be immediately greeted with a reimagined interface for the News Feed. The top will be reserved for big photos and videos, while the other half of the screen will show you status updates and link stories. Browsing through all of your content will be as simple as swiping from left-to-right. Once you find something that grabs your attention, you can tap on it to make it unfold on your screen.

Each section that you choose to add to your app will combine stories that are specifically chosen by Facebook’s editors (human, of course). These stories are then surfaced by the Paper algorithm that have publicly to Facebook by nearly everyone– bloggers, average Joes, public figures, publications, etc.

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Don’t worry; you’ll also be able to add your own stories. With the composer feature, you’ll have the ability to actually preview how your post will look like to other users. So say goodbye to awkwardly-sized photos and cut-off article blurbs!

And what about those ads? Consider them gone (for now, at least), although it’s being said that Facebook may be working on a way to integrate them naturally in the future. And this will most likely be the case, as 53% of Facebook’s revenue last quarter actually came from mobile ads.

Personalization is not an option…for now

While users will be able to select exactly which sections they want to subscribe to, all of the content will be curated via an algorithm and human selection, and personalization for these sections will not be available right away, but they might change this in the future. So, for now, if you’re a user in Los Angeles and are subscribed to the Sports section, you’ll be seeing the same information as a user in Seattle.

At a first glance, Paper seems like it will be a cross between our existing Facebook News Feed and a news reader app. In addition to the simplicity of swipe gestures, Paper will also have a number of stylistic touches, which lets us know that Facebook is actually working to branch out. Like any other business, in order to continue growing (in this case, current Facebook users), it will need to discover innovative ways for these customers to stay engaged.

Overall, Facebook Paper seems like it will just be a much more interesting way to stay updated with your online community and the latest news.

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Search engine marketing expert with 15 years of experience in the industry, working with small mom and pop shops as well as large corporate websites. I have experience with all aspects of inbound marketing, including SEO, Link Building, Social Shares, Usability, Conversions, PPC, Email Marketing, and more.