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Facebook Preparing To Launch ‘Paper’ Reader App

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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The big idea? To take on news services such as Flipboard

According to reports, Facebook is currently putting the finishing touches on its own news reader service for mobile devices. Having been in development for ‘years’ before it leaked last year, the social media giant is now finalising the product, apparently named ‘Paper’, and could launch it by the end of January.

The service takes after existing apps such as Flipboard, which aggregates content from a variety of pre-assigned themed sources (such news, sport, or entertainment) around the Internet to present the user with the news they want. Where Paper could differ from such existing services is by integrating information from Facebook and its affiliates, such as Instagram, to integrate people’s friends into the overall news stream.

mark-zuckerberg-facebook-news-feedTabloid or broadsheet?

It’s unclear yet as to whether Paper will be a standalone mobile application upon its release, as it may instead be an optimised web app similar to the Facebook service pre-loaded onto many modern smartphones. Its name comes from the fact that the service will reportedly present stories in a “paper-like format”, which we presume means it will read like a newspaper.

The project is one of the key parts of ‘Project Reader’ a multi-year effort from the team behind Facebook’s News Feed, spearheaded by Chris Cox, Facebook’s product vice president, and has reportedly had direct input from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Following the refresh of Facebook’s News Feed in March, a major milestone for Project Reader, the group is now apparently completely focused on Paper, which was due to be part of the update, before being delayed to be a separate release. The company’s recent acquisition of app optimisation developer Little Eye Labs earlier this month may also help spur on final development and lead to a release soon.

Facebook declined to comment on the story, but we expect to see further information soon.

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