Facebook is aiming to become a newspaper for mobile devices.
The social network has been quietly working on a service, internally called Reader, that displays content from Facebook users and publishers in a new visual format tailored for mobile devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The project, which the company has been developing for more than a year, is designed to showcase news content in particular. Recent versions of Reader resemble Flipboard, a smartphone and tablet app that aggregates stories from multiple sources and lets users swipe to flip through articles, said the people with knowledge of the project.
While it's unclear when Facebook will be ready to unveil the product, if it ever is, the Reader project is a sign the company is trying to get users to spend more time with it on mobile devices—and to see more ads.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on the company's plans for future news applications.
Such mobile-focused endeavors are critical as Facebook tries to jump-start its sagging stock price, which remains 35 percent below its initial-public-offering price.