When you think about how you use your smartphone for social networking, your home screen is probably full. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, Flickr, Pinterest, Foursquare, and some of the smaller niche networks like Path, Circle, Vine, and even MySpace, how many more could you possibly need?
The king of the social network jungle thinks you need one more. Earlier this week, Facebook introduced a new app called ‘Paper.’ It’ll be exclusive for iPhone at first, and will be available next week on Feb. 3.
The app takes cues from several others we’re already familiar with like Flipboard and Medium. You create new ‘Stories’ with photos, videos, and text in a WYSIWYG editor. There are few navigation buttons to clutter up the UI, as Paper relies almost entirely on gestures.
The Verge calls ‘Paper’ a “complete reimagining of Facebook itself” and after watching that video, I’m inclined to agree. The team behind it, Facebook Creative Labs, spent nine months building the app. While powered by Facebook’s massive data centers and engineering, the source code for ‘Paper’ is completely new. This is the first product to come to market from Facebook Creative Labs, a group inside the company responsible for “innovate and build new things.”
The thought in the back of my mind through all of this is that Facebook really, really, really wants to own your mobile phone. Not only do they have the Facebook app itself, but also their ‘Messenger’ app for Facebook messages, and Instagram, which they bought in September 2012. Add ‘Paper’ to that, and one social network could have three apps on your phone. The company tried to buy Snapchat, but was unsuccessful. That would have been app number four. There are also recent rumors circulating that the company is working on diversifying its core services into even more mobile apps. ‘Paper’ won’t be the last app we see out of Facebook Creative Labs.
I’ll update this post with the download link for ‘Paper’ once it goes live in the iOS App Store. In the meantime, feel free to chime in below in the comments with your thoughts. Do you plan to use ‘Paper’ or are you content with the Facebook app as it is, now?
[Source: The Verge]
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