Paper – Facebook’s 10 Year Birthday Present for You!

by on February 5, 2014 · 22 comments

Facebook celebrated its 10th birthday in style this week, by giving you a present. The company launched Paper, an app that serves as both a Facebook app and a news reader in a clean, modern and fresh design. This free app is a one-stop source for the latest news from both your Facebook friends and the world at large.

Think of Paper as a blend between the Facebook app and a news app such as Zite or Flipboard. If you want all your updates in one place or you’re looking to reduce the number of apps on your mobile device, Paper could quickly become your new favorite app.

Here’s the intro video showing you how Paper works:

To get started, download the app and log into your Facebook account. Note that for now the app is only available in the US for iOS devices  (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch).

The app walks you through how to navigate through the different stories. Paper is operated by gestures with few prompts so you’ll want to pay attention to the instructions. If you forget how to maneuver through the app, just play around with it. You’ll catch on quickly or have fun getting lost in the app.

You can use the Facebook part of the app just as you would the regular Facebook app. You can post, see your Facebook feed, Like, Share and read from within Paper.

One of the very coolest features of the app is how you can see different perspectives of a photo by tilting your device. The effect makes it seem as if you are looking through a window instead of a mobile device.

In settings you can control whether Facebook notifications open in the Facebook app or the Paper app.

News

In addition to seeing your Facebook feed in a new format, you can also read news articles on topics of interest to you. Choose from:

  • Headlines – News of the day
  • Tech – Tech news
  • Exposure – Photos
  • Ideas – Science articles
  • Home – Decorating inspiration
  • Flavor – Food
  • Creators – Those who make thing for our world
  • Pop Life – Pop culture
  • Enterprise – Business
  • Score – Sports
  • Equalize – News for women and men creating a level playing field
  • Planet – Science, sustainability and nature
  • All City – Urban arts, sports, music and style
  • Well Lived – Trending destinations, activities, fashion and culture
  • Family matters – Living with babies, kids and teens
  • Cute – All things adorable
  • LOL – Humor to brighten your day
  • Glow – Brighten your day
  • Pride – Community stories

Another cool effect of the app is the way the articles unfold to open and fold to close. Swipe up to open and down to close articles. The articles appear in the bottom half of your screen and the categories appear in the top of the screen.

Using the App

The app is a radical change from the original Facebook app in design, features and navigation. You won’t forget you’re in the new app if you’re using it for its Facebook function. It may take a day or two for you to feel comfortable in figuring out the swipes. If you’re one to get easily distracted, this app will do double duty for you – catching up on your friends and the news. You may never need to leave this app!

Using the app on the iPhone/iPod Touch may quickly have you wishing for a bigger screen. Because the app uses a split screen display for categories and articles, the size of each window can challenge those without 20/20 vision. Using the app on the iPad is a much more pleasant experience even though the app is created for iPhone.

Availability

Paper is available free in the iTunes App Store. The app is ad-free for now but Facebook may put ads in it in the future.

Your Thoughts

Have you tried Paper? Do you enjoy the cool features of the app? Do you like the idea of having a combined Facebook and news app in one? Let us know in the Comments section below!

_____________________________

Facebook’s Birthday Card

No birthday would be complete without a birthday card and Facebook has one for you. Called “A Look Back,” Facebook has created a personalized video card for you featuring the highlights of your shared experiences on Facebook.

To see your video card go to Facebook Lookback and reminisce about your life since you joined Facebook. you also have the option to share it on your Timeline.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Brandon Hickey February 5, 2014 at 2:48 pm

This looks really cool! Has Facebook made any comment about the timeline for an Android release?

Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

Hi Brandon, You’re right, Paper is very cool. No word yet on Android, iPhone users are the guinea pigs to work out the kinks before Android gets Paper. Stay tuned to The Wonder of Tech for news of when that happens!
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Harleena Singh
Twitter:
February 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Ah…this is surely news, and glad I got to read about it all on your blog having been a little involved past few days in a family function :-)

I don’t use much of my phone and apps but the feature of seeing different perspectives of a photo by tilting your device sounds interesting. I think I’d have to show this to my kids and we’d know whether they like Facebook without Paper or with it.

Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 6, 2014 at 9:09 am

Hi Harleena, Yes, Paper is a very different Facebook experience. While is may take a little while to get used to the gestures, the payoff is a very rich experience with beautiful graphics and cool features.

I was offline yesterday due to a fierce ice storm in our area. We don’t have power at our home and many roads are blocked by downed trees. I’m hoping for a return to normal soon!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts, Harleena.
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Robb Gorringe February 6, 2014 at 3:18 am

Hi Carolyn,

It’s nice to get some more info on this new ‘Paper’ thing. It’ll be interesting to see it’s a big hit or not. Blessings to ya!

Aloha,

Robb

Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Hi Robb, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I’m so glad you found this helpful. Yes, this app could really take off, it packs so much information into one app. You’re right, it will be interesting to see whether people are willing to migrate from the original Facebook app.
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Robb Gorringe February 7, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Thanks Carolyn!

Blessings on your writing & business too,

Robb

Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 8, 2014 at 8:26 am

You’re very welcome, Robb!
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Balroop Singh February 7, 2014 at 1:03 am

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for such an informative post, I am glad I came here to read it. Seems quite interesting! I wonder what more is in store…technology has really created amazing things! I had seen the look back videos but didn’t like them much as they are missing out on important pics and highlighting some insignificant ones.

Thank you for sharing.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Hi Balroop, Yes, the video is based on the numbers of Likes each photo received so that’s the best way Facebook can guess which photos are important to you. It may not be perfect, but it sure is fun!

Be sure to check out the parody video I posted in my article: The Useless Web – For the Fun of It!.
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Jens-Petter Berget
Twitter:
February 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Hi Carolyn,

I still haven’t downloaded Paper, but I have to test it. I’m using Facebook on my iPhone every day, and it’s mostly how I am using Facebook. I am not sure if Paper will be a better experience or not, but I love testing new apps.

Have a wonderful weekend Carolyn.

-Jens
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 8, 2014 at 8:28 am

Hi Jens, I hope you really enjoy Paper. It’s a great app, especially for people who like to explore things. :-bd
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Gautam February 8, 2014 at 3:38 am

Tried the app and it was good and Facebook Lookback was good but not too great.I was expecting something huge from Facebook on the day but anyway Happy Birthday Facebook.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 8, 2014 at 8:18 am

Hi Gautam, I think Look Back can be great or just meh, depending on which images Facebook chooses to share. Mine brought back some amazing memories.

I hope you enjoy Paper, Gautam!
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Bill Dorman
Twitter:
February 8, 2014 at 8:18 am

For those who don’t have 20/20? How many under 40 yr olds do you having coming by here anyway?…?

I’ll download the app when I get back to the office on Mon. I just changed all my passwords stored at the office….but don’t tell anyone. Isn’t there a secure app you can store passwords on? Didn’t you do a post on it? Do you trust it?

Hope all is well; my cast is finally off, but still feels like a have a ‘club’ hand. Oh well, gotta start somewhere, huh?
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 8, 2014 at 8:25 am

Hey Bill, Congratulations on your emancipation from your cast! Yes, you will have to take some time to get your strength back in your hand. Take it easy though, don’t overdo!

Facebook tried to cram a lot of information onto a small iPhone screen. Maybe Apple will do us a solid and increase the screen size of the iPhone with the next model. In the meantime, the iPad gives a more pleasant visual experience.
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Anchit Shethia February 9, 2014 at 7:29 am

To be true, Paper is really confusing. Apply Geek and Flipboard are much news apps.
Didn’t really see any reason for this app to launch.
And I used it for an hour or so to figure things out but did not understand the concept and how it actually works.
The user interface is awesome though not new!
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Hi Anchit, Yes, Paper definitely takes some learning to figure out and the design isn’t groundbreaking. But the beautiful design and cool features will make this app worth the learning curve for many people, though not for all.

Hey, it’s a free app so people can check it out to see if they like it. If, like you, they don’t, then they can just delete the app. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
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Mayura
Twitter:
February 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Actually I love the use of gestures in that app :-) I’ve admired how Facebook come up with smooth transitions within Messenger and Facebook Home. Don’t know why they are getting pretty bad feedback though. Probably, it’s about compatibility.

Right now, I have no favorite feed reader app in my smartphone and do you think Paper can replace both Facebook and feed reader? Even Facebook Messenger too? ;-)

Seems Paper yet to hit the Google Play Store. Heard of any announcements made on that dear? Can’t wait to try it out :-)

BTW I haven’t shared enough on Facebook to have a birthday card though :D I’m glad to hear that from ‘em. Thought I shared more than my limit ;-)

You have a lovely week there dear :-)

Cheers…
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Hi Mayura, Yes, I liked Facebook Home though that didn’t take off. I don’t know whether Paper will take off either but I do like the look of it.

No word on when it’s coming to Android, but perhaps Facebook thinks Android users have Home so they don’t need Paper?

As of now, Paper isn’t as thorough as Zite so I still check in with Zite. But it’s handy to be able to access your Facebook feed and news from one app.

I will definitely keep readers posted when and if Paper comes to Android, Mayura.
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Chetan Gupta February 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Hi Carolyn
Thanks for sharing this article. Facebook is now completed it’s 10 years on 4th Feb, 2014. I was started using Facebook since 2011 and now Facebook is a 10 years old small child but instead it’s popularity is touching the sky. :D
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr February 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Hi Chetan, Yes, Facebook continues to innovate which may be a big reason for its success. I hope that they continue to bring great new apps like Paper to its users.
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