Facebook has turned a new page… literally. This morning, Facebook released a new app called “Paper”, and it is stunning. The sleek design of Paper and abandonment of all things wrong with Facebook are lost with a simple click of a (free) download on the iTunes App Store.
As a slowly dwindling Facebook user myself, I doubted the new release to a seemingly dying social media site. But, after watching the beautiful Paper launch video this morning, my doubts diminished as even I was captivated by the crisp, sexy design interface.
Paper is a mix of Facebook and a news reader with a trendy version of the formerly clunky newsfeed we have unknowingly been addicted to since Facebook was founded in 2004. The beauty of Paper is that it focuses on stories. Large photographs and appealing text draw the viewer in to explore more. Not only are the pictures and text clear, the movements of navigation throughout the app are perfectly hip and desirable.
Paper is the new and improved vision of Facebook and more. Along with your Facebook news feed, you can also customize your Paper with different news topics (i.e. mine include Headlines, Scores, Exposure and Pop Life among others). The Headline section includes current news on a variety of sites such as The New York Times, BBC World News, CNN, Washington Post, etc. to ensure a variety of quality, beautiful information.
The question of whether Paper will make it big still remains unknown. Facebook didn’t hype up the release of Paper very much and I only discovered the new app today on my Feedly.com “Tech” news section. I’ve been busy reading up about the new app and other reviews by more qualified computer geeks than myself today and have only read positive things about Paper itself.
But, almost overshadowing the excitement of Paper, is the drama ensuing over the name of the new app. “Paper” is already a popular application for iPads in the iTunes App Store by creators FiftyThree. The CEO of FiftyThree, Georg Petschnigg, wrote a cleverly worded jab this morning at Facebook on the FiftyThree website simply addressing the situation by writing “An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name.”
The question arises as to why Facebook would steal an already established, successful application’s name, especially one that was Apple’s 2012 iPad App of the Year. Wouldn’t you think that Facebook conducted a massive amount of research on the current state of the market, including applications with the same name as their future product…
Regardless of the name drama, Paper does reflect a beautiful, innovative social media/news reader product. In a world where Facebook is slowly becoming a habitual act rather than an enthusiastic exploration, will Paper revive Facebook’s life or simply become another failed app by Zuckerberg and crew?