February 04, 2014
/ by Sukhraj Beasla
Facebook has been hinting at something new for a while and lucky for us (social media managers that is), it’s not another change to the Facebook platform or its algorithm. Instead, it’s something entirely different. Yesterday morning, Facebook officially launched a new app titled “Paper,” the first release from the new Facebook Creative Lab studios (which is an independent Facebook startup).
Facebook’s new standalone app is only available for iOS, which is a first, since Zuckerberg usually tends to prefer the Android environment (remember Facebook Home?). If you open up the App Store, you’ll see it listed as a featured app. I was able to find it immediately as the first app listed.
After installation, what I first noticed, was the clean design and ease of use. There is a cumbersome tutorial that pops up though. Unfortunately, you can’t dismiss it if you’re not one for tutorials and just like to jump into things like most impatient people with new apps. Once you’re fully into the app, it looks and feels much like Flipboard (a popular news curation app). Paper features the best of Facebook – messages, notifications, search, and a redesigned profile. There is no annoying blue bar and the new design focuses mainly on user experience with no annoying buttons, bells and whistles, and other features. Plus it is ad free!
The other great feature about the new Paper app is that you customize what you see; which that being said, there are no Facebook lists or events from what I’ve seen so far, instead there are “sections.” Sections can range from themes and/or interests. Paper has some sample sections listed based on your interests. You can drag and drop them into your Paper news feed based on importance or simply swipe to delete them if you’re not interested. Unlike your normal Facebook news feed, Paper is made to be customized by you, for you, with only what you want to see. Given that, the new Facebook Paper app might just replace the native app.
Did I mention you can update your status from Paper? After using Facebook Paper for about a good 30 minutes, I found it hard to see why I’d need another Facebook app or any of the other Facebooks apps – Photos, Messenger, and the failed Poke app. If Facebook Paper had a way for me to manage my page, I would probably give up that app as well but for now, Paper is all win and hopefully Zuckerberg will keep it ad free and purely “news-ish.”
What do you think of the new Facebook Paper app? Will it replace your default app? To learn more about Paper, check out the Facebook video.
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