Paper: Facebook’s Mobile News-Reader Product?

By David Cohen 

RockScissorPaper650Last June, when Facebook introduced Video on Instagram, the buzz prior to the press event also focused on the possibility of the social network creating a news reader-type product, based on RSS feeds, to take advantage of the demise of Google Reader, and The Wall Street Journal reported later that month that Facebook was working on a mobile news reader that would enable users with mobile devices to see content from other Facebook users and publishers in a visual format created for their devices, referred to internally as Reader. Now, according to a report by Re/code, the social network will reveal a Flipboard-like news-reading service “in the coming weeks,” known as Paper, rather than Reader.

According to Re/code, Paper is aimed at mobile devices, and it could be either a stand-alone application or a Web experience. Paper displays news stories from publications alongside status updates from Facebook users in a newspaper-like format.

Re/code reported that Facebook Vice President of Product Chris Cox is spearheading Reader, adding that the project was originally launched several years ago with an eye toward redesigning the social network’s News Feed, but it ended up becoming a separate initiative.

According to Re/code, Cox’s right-hand man on the Paper project is User Interface Designer Mike Matas, who joined the social network when it acquired his startup, eBook publisher Push Pop Press, in August 2011.

Facebook would not comment about Paper, with Spokeswoman Jessie Baker telling Re/code:

We do not comment on rumors and speculation.

Readers: What do you think of the early reports on Paper?

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