Facebook Launch ‘Paper’, Their Newest Reader App

On the 30th of January, Facebook announced that a new standalone news reader mobile app, known as ‘Paper’, would be released in the near future. Whilst it has apparently been in the works for years, the announcement came only 24 hours after Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s famous CEO, revealed that they would be releasing more standalone apps this year.

What is it?
Paper will display content from 19 different ‘sections’ (such as sports, tech, pop culture and LOL), which users can choose to subscribe to. Each of these sections features a rotating carousel of images along the top with individual cards and stories below; a user can click on cards or stories that they wish to investigate further. For now, these sections cannot be personalised.

Users will also be given the opportunity to share their own stories on Paper, with anything posted also appearing on their Facebook Newsfeed. The app enables a user to preview what their posts will look like before sharing, ensuring that they are fully satisfied with the appearance. Users will also be able to share, ‘like’ and comment on stories, the same as with traditional Facebook.

Paper’s creation
It has been revealed that Paper was created by a 15-person team employed by Facebook Creative Labs. This is a broader initiative of the social network whose sole job it is to work on these standalone apps. It has also been announced that Paper sans advertisements, even though Facebook itself has seen quite a lot of success through mobile ads (53% of their revenue last quarter).

According to reports, Paper will be officially launched on the US App Store on Monday the 3rd of February. It will only be available to iPhone users in the beginning and there are not, as of yet, any indications of when an Android or iPad version of the app will become available. Whilst many have argued that Paper could spell the death of Facebook’s traditional app, only time will tell.

GlobalWebIndex Releases The 10 Most Frequently Used Smartphone Apps

In early August, the team at GlobalWebIndex released the 10 most frequently used apps regularly utilised by the 969.49 million smartphone users around the world. Whilst some of the contenders may surprise you, it goes without saying that the top 10 are dominated by communication and social media apps. To compile the list, GlobalWebIndex has looked at the apps that people with smartphones have used in the past month.

  1. Google Maps – 54%
  2. Facebook – 44%
  3. YouTube – 35%
  4. Google+ – 30%
  5. Weixin/WeChat – 27%
  6. Twitter – 22%
  7. Skype – 22%
  8. Facebook Messenger – 22%
  9. WhatsApp – 17%
  10. Instagram – 11%

Top 10 Apps

Some people are surprised that Twitter and Instagram haven’t ranked higher, whilst others are surprised that Google+ is so widely used. For those of you unfamiliar with some of these apps, Weixin/WeChat is a Chinese chat app that enables users to partake in free texting, voice messages and video calls. WhatsApp is similar in function in that it enables users to create groups, send unlimited free text, video and audio media messages.

Zoe Fox of Mashable says, “If people are not navigating on their phones, the next most popular thing to do is to connect with people.” Some of the other apps that can be found in GlobalWebIndex’s top 20 include Ovi Maps, Shazam, Foursquare and Flickr. Are you surprised at where some of these apps have ranked? Do you regularly use any of them in your daily life? What about apps that you regularly use that have not been mentioned?

Image Source: GlobalWebIndex