Facebook introduces Paper as a way to see your friend’s stories, keep up to date with current events and most importantly share your own stories. The app which has been available on iphone since the 3rd of February 2014 is supposed to be a simple lightweight way of keeping up to date with the world around you and your own personal bubble of people.
In true newspaper format there are sections such as “Cute” (animals) “LOL” (funny stories), “Glow” (Beauty), “Pride” (LGBT stories) and “Ideas” which investigates a different topic each day. Facebook appeals to the longing people have for simplicity. In the old days people could fold up a piece of newspaper or tear out an article to read for later but with Paper’s ‘read later’ feature you can save content to four places to read later: Pocket, Instapaper, Pinboard and your Safari Reading List.
Recently there has been a lot of noise about how people present themselves on social media. Photos of nights out, place and event updates, statuses about the fun things people have been up to and a tally of the number of friends you have collected over the years adds pressure to everyone. The beauty of Paper is that for once it’s less about anything and everything and more about stories. It is still a social platform with friend requests however there is a greater subtlety where you can follow certain stories like on Twitter but without an information overshare. This is also an effective filtering system so you can keep up to date with your best friend’s stories but don’t have to see every single post about someone you haven’t seen for ten years! The style of grouping allows for more popular web stories to be slotted sleekly into a modern newspaper format.
Paper captures the balance between the fast paced Twitter ‘Home’ and the old school Facebook news feed. It appears fresher with less stories from a week ago and more new information carefully displayed to capture the reader’s attention in a pick and choose method – like choosing what to read in a magazine in contrast to the usual bombardment of information that social media hurls at people. It could be argued that Paper is like Facebook on a healthy lifestyle kick. You only take in what you fancy and the lightweight format makes you feel less like you’re binge reading gossip and unhealthily stalking photographs. The reinvention of Facebook is in a way an extension on reinventing ourselves. By downloading this app it will make us appear more interesting by handpicking our finest moments and appearing more exclusive in what we choose to read. In a sense this is a dream come true for many as you get to share your own life story and craft it to look the way you want it to. The way people read about you is even displayed as a book with a turning pages feature!
What do you think? Is Paper just another pretty face in the already overcrowded news market or a big step forward for Facebook?
Edited by Ili Mustafa