Facebook announces Paper, a carefully curated new mobile app

The world’s biggest social network is rethinking storytelling, announcing Paper Thursday morning -- a new mobile app that complete revises how you access the site.

People currently access Facebook through the News Feed on the site or the mobile app, essentially an unformatted, unindexed stream of data from friends, colleagues and anyone they follow. The new Paper app will compile that content into sections to let you follow your favorite interests -- just like a newspaper.

“You can customize Paper with a choice of more than a dozen other sections about various themes and topics—from photography and sports to food, science and design. Each section includes a rich mix of content from emerging voices and well-known publications,” the company explained in a news posting about the app.


Paper also overhauls the design, letting you thumb sideways through carefully designed “cards” for each post, rather than vertically through a stream of content. Tech news site Re/code called it “strikingly different from what you’re used to.”

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“As you start changing the way you’re displaying this content, we hope that it will change the way people think about posting content,” Michael Matas, Paper’s product design lead, told the site.

“It’s no fun to make a bunch of great stuff if no one ever sees it.”

The design resembles the flip-book format of other social aggregation apps such as Flipboard, and is the result of years of development, re/code said.

Facebook offered a few details on how the app will work: You can tilt your phone to explore high-resolution panoramic photos from corner to corner. Fullscreen videos will automatically play. You'll know exactly what your post or photo will look like thanks to live previews.

The app will be available February 3, Facebook said.

Facebook announced surging fourth-quarter profits on Wednesday of $523 million, sending the company stock soaring in after hours trading. Before the bell, the company's stock was up almost 18 percent, to $63.

Introducing Paper from Facebook on Vimeo.