Facebook Launches ‘Paper’ Mobile News App Mixing User Feeds With News Media Content

Facebook is launching an app called “Paper” that appears to be an effort to bring you all the best news features of Facebook without actually being on Facebook.

“Paper makes storytelling more beautiful with an immersive design and fullscreen, distraction-free layouts. We’ve also made it easier to craft and share beautiful stories of your own,” reads the blog post announcing Paper. In other words, Paper makes it easier and more enjoyable to catch up on news from your friends as well as the news from various outlets.

In addition to your NewsFeed, which is the default section, you can browse a variety of other sections that pertain to topics you’re interested in, including those related to sports, photography, science, food, and so on. Each section has its own feed of stories from various sources, and you can add favorite sections to curate your own digital newspaper (of sorts).

Facebook Paper news app

Facebook isn’t alone in tackling the mobile news. Jason Calacanis’ Inside.com hand-curated news app is rolling out, too.

From the looks of it, Facebook has done a bangup job of crafting a beautiful app. There are subtle features such as the ability to tilt your smartphone to view edge-to-edge panoramic photos, videos play in full screen, and a clever GUI that “flips” pages and lets you really explore picture.

Facebook is ubiquitous and still hugely popular, but Zuck and Co. understand that tech trends are fickle at best. Facebook is already reportedly losing ground with teens, and the site needs to keep evolving to stay relevant and interesting for all users. Many people already get a great deal of their news from Facebook, so it makes plenty of sense for Facebook to pursue that angle and seek to become the Internet’s newspaper. (This isn't the first evidence we've seen of that.) Building good app that’s designed for exactly that purpose is a good step.

Paper will be available for iOS on February 3rd.