Paper – Stories from Facebook Review
See the latest news stories in a different light with Facebook’s new Paper app for iPhone
Paper is Facebook’s first foray into the ever-expanding world of content discovery. Currently only available in the USA for iPhone, Paper aims to reinvent the design and use of Facebook, placing a focus on users’ content rather than ‘updates’.
Paper certainly overhauls the experience of using Facebook – the current Facebook app is an exercise in swiping downwards to view your News Feed, whereas Paper utilises your thumbs and encourages you to swipe in different directions to navigate around the app and browse content.
Stories from your Facebook friends appear along the bottom of the app interface, while most recent media-based updates from your friends are spotlighted in the top half of the screen, rotating every few seconds in a carousel fashion. The only gripe with this feature is that Paper displays stories from all of your friends, and there is a distinct lack of control over who you really want to see stories from.
You simply swipe along the bottom of the screen to browse stories. Once you’ve landed on one that you wish to read, you tap on it and it appears fullscreen. You can Like, Comment and Share the post in the same way that you would on Facebook and the process is very elegantly designed.
One of Paper’s standout features is the ability to add ‘Sections’ to the app; these are categories of news and stories from around the world that you’re interested in, for example, Entertainment, Family Matters or Tech. Facebook feeds these into the app from popular websites such as The Huffington Post, Tech Crunch and CNN, so you can get all of your news from your friends and the rest of the world in one place – simply swipe left to switch between your News Feed and your Sections feed. Combining this all into one interface would make the process a little more efficient in a future update.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to digest the content of a link that’s caught your eye, Paper offers a handy ‘Read Later’ feature that links up with Instapaper, Pocket, Pinboard and Safari’s Reading List – however, Paper would be even better if this feature was native to the app.
Paper is a welcome alternative to Facebook, and with a few tweaks here and there, has the potential to replace the native Facebook app entirely.
Paper reinvents Facebook with an elegantly designed app and a focus on the discovery of new content.
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