Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) spent years developing its own news reader similar to Flipboard, a mobile news magazine app, and it is reportedly close to launching it. According to Re/code, the social network giant might release its mobile news reader called “Paper” over the next several weeks.
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Re/code obtained information from unidentified sources familiar with the social network giant’s news reader. According to them, the team behind the News Feed is responsible for developing Paper under the multi-year Project Reader. The team was headed by Chris Cox, vice president of products at Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
According to one of the sources, Paper and Flipboard are similar in some aspects. Just like Flipboard, the social network giant’s news reader will serve as an aggregator of media content. It displays news stories from different sources such as Reuters, Bloomberg, and many other news agencies, and it also displays status updates from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users. The format of the Paper is like a traditional daily newspaper prior to the emergence of digital devices.
One of the sources said he is uncertain whether Paper is a standalone mobile app or a web service augmented for mobile devices. He suggested that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) might reveal it before the end of this month, but the schedule is not definite.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg directly involved
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is also directly involved in the Project Reader. It was initiated years ago to improve the News Feed. The project was divided into different parts after numerous delays and design refreshes, and eventually became Paper. Mike Matas works under Cox as user interface designer.
In 2011, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) acquired Push Pop Press, the start-up established by Matas. Prior to the acquisition, the start-up was primarily engaged in digital book publishing. The social network giant integrated that element into its own services.
Sources said if the social network giant launches Paper this month, it would be the completion of the multiyear effort of the team behind the News Feed. Last March, the company released a refreshed News Feed to a small number of users, but the user engagement was not compelling so it decided to delay a wider rollout.
The primary objective of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in developing Paper is to provide its users with an experience they really enjoy such as scanning the newspaper every day, and to drive users engagement and advertisements.