Technologizer

With Paper, Facebook Is About to Reimagine Itself for the Mobile Era

The dominant social network finally rethinks itself for the mobile age

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What’s the most striking thing about Facebook on the iPhone? That’s easy: it’s the fact that there’s nothing striking about it. The company’s iOS app is essentially similar to what you get in a desktop browser, with a few nips and tucks to reflect the fact that it’s on a teensy screen.

But on Monday, iPhone users will be able to try a version of Facebook that’s been utterly reimagined for the smartphone. It’s called Paper, and as you can see in the video above, it’s far splashier than any other incarnation of Facebook so far, with an emphasis on info from news sources (including TIME) and storytelling from your friends, a lot of animation, big images and an interface designed to let you navigate around with your thumb.

I haven’t seen Paper in person yet, but the Verge’s Dieter Bohn has, and he’s extremely enthusiastic about it. As he says, the interface owes a debt to both Flipboard and to Facebook’s own Facebook Home for Android. But it also looks like it incorporates plenty of fresh ideas — and it certainly looks very little like Facebook in its traditional form.

Two other thoughts as I bide my time until Monday:

1) Paper is debuting exclusively on the iPhone. That fact barely merits mention — as of early 2014, if a high-profile app is going to premiere on one platform, that profile is nearly always iOS. (Facebook Home was a notable exception, since it integrated itself into the operating system in a way that Android permits and iOS does not.) The industry’s tendency to favor Apple devices for big rollouts is an important, under-discussed edge that iOS retains over Android.

2) “Paper” may be a generic term, but I still think it’s a shame that Facebook chose it as a name when there’s already a wonderful iPad app with the same moniker.

6 comments
MerveDaglar
MerveDaglar

not available for Canadian iTunes...

mahadragon
mahadragon

This idea is a complete ripoff of Flipboard. If it succeeds it's because Flipboard is a great idea, not because of any integration with Facebook. Facebook is for friends and family. It should be, and remain totally separate from world news.


Zuck needs to terminate the guy who is pushing this idea so hard (I realize he's a high level exec). Zuck, if you want to get more people on Facebook make it more irreverent. Why do you think little games like Candy Crush are so popular? People go on Facebook to get away. Not to look at the problems with world's news. Put something fun for people to do while they look at pictures of Aunt Mary's pies.

EdwardWPWW
EdwardWPWW

ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYONE!
If “anti-racists” are so unconcerned with race, how come they only have a problem with White Countries, White Cities, White Neighborhoods, White Workplaces, White schools?
I’ve never seen any “anti-racist” complain that any place is too brown and it has to become LESS brown to combat racism.
Who do they think they are kidding?
“Multiculturalism” = White GeNOcide
Anti-Racist is a code for anti-White.

memewhitehurst
memewhitehurst

Honestly, I like Facebook, I love social media. However, Facebook is not just for friends, maybe for you it is, but there is humor, education, randomness within Facebook that makes it more than "my/our friends". The platform itself is set up for you to choose your interest. If you don't want to see world news, don't like CNN, but the funny thing is, your commenting on TIME which is world news, so wouldn't that be relevant on Facebook too? Everything in one place with easy access, genius. In my opinion what's relevant doesn't need to be in one particular location; there is CNN.com and then there is " follow CNN on Facebook". With over a million "likes" it seems relevant to me.

Mark zuckerberg, or "Zuck" as you refer to, would fail miserably if he made it "irrelevant". Clearly what he has done and continues to do is relevant, according to the 500 million accounts, just not to you. Candy crush is popular, but not because of Facebook, "per se"....Sure they advertise it the game, but you don't have to use your Facebook to play...or, "get away ".

My Facebook is my getaway. So, all in all, to each their own. Evolution is inevitable and so....Facebook is evolving!

romano70
romano70

Unrelated stupidity? Nah, just plain stupidity...