As expected, Facebook has confirmed that it’s planning on bringing a brand new social news curation iOS application to the App Store called “Paper.”
The news comes following a recent report in which Facebook was said to be hiring “human editors” to source and optimize content for an unannounced project. At the time, my colleague Aldrin Calimlim covered the story, and explained:
The employment of editors to curate the content of Paper will add a human touch to Facebook’s otherwise algorithmic approach to news delivery. But as noted by Re/code, Paper editors can only feature stories that are already posted on Facebook by their respective publishers — a setup that is likely to encourage publishers to post more of their stories to the social network.
However, Business Insider has now confirmed that Facebook’s project, Paper, is indeed in the pipeline, and will launch for users of the social network on Feb. 3. The publication notes that the application “pulls in news stories, photos, and videos your friends share in their News Feeds and displays them in a photo-intensive layout.” It’s also possible for users to create their own feeds from topics published by Facebook-selected partners.
Not to be confused with the stylus-centric Paper by FiftyThree, Facebook’s upcoming application will rather compete against Flipboard for a space on iDevice users’ Home screens. Business Insider explains that Facebook’s Paper is indeed a lot like Flipboard, but rightly notes that when it comes to “copycat apps,” the social network hasn’t performed well in the past:
For example, in late 2012 Facebook launched Poke, a photo-messaging app that was essentially a clone of Snapchat. Poke had a brief spike in popularity, but it’s now basically dead.
Google also tried to make a Flipboard clone called Currents, a pretty news reading app for iPhone and Android, but that has also mostly faded into obscurity.
As mentioned, Facebook Paper is expected to launch on Feb. 3. We’ll keep you updated with further news on the service as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Glork It Out: Glorkian Warrior Set To Reach The App Store This Quarter, Could The After Years’ App Store Sale Foreshadow The Release Of Final Fantasy VI?, and Supercharge Your Endless Running Game Experience With Marvel Run Jump Smash!.