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Facebook Does News With New 'Paper' App

Peter Z. Scheer
Managing Editor
Peter Scheer grew up in the newspaper business, spending family vacations with his mother at newspaper editors' conferences, enjoying daycare in editorial departments and begrudgingly reviewing his father's…
Peter Z. Scheer

Facebook already has one of the more popular mobile apps and 1.2 billion users, so why is the social behemoth competing with itself?

The answer may be as simple as survival. Companies that are small and nimble can disrupt and topple the giants and Facebook can buy only so many Instagrams to keep its grip on power. Thus the new Paper, which is a combined newsreader and streamlined portal into Facebook’s more popular features.

Recognizing that the service is now used as much for sharing world news as friend news, Paper is built around different kinds of stories outside the social sphere. Right now it’s available only for the iPhone, but we can expect an Android version if it proves popular.

Two questions: Paper has no ads, and Facebook recently announced that it gets half its revenue from mobile advertising. This nifty new mobile Facebook could get as irksome as the Desktop Facebook once all your friends start shilling for Target and weight loss serum. Also, with the company’s loose morals in mind, Facebook doesn’t make for the most trustworthy information gatekeeper.

Watch a video about Paper at The Verge.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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