Facebook has launched a new standalone app called Paper for iOS in the U.S. Facebook Paper is a content reader that has messages, notifications, search, and redesigned profile. Facebook announced Paper officially last Thursday and it launched today. Facebook Paper was launched through the social networking company’s Creative Labs division. Facebook Paper allows you to choose different content sections to create a digital newspaper. Facebook Paper lets you read sections from friends, publishers, public figures, and content creators in a full-screen format. Facebook Paper works for Apple iOS 7 or later.
I downloaded the app and I can honestly say that the app was well done. Facebook put Mike Matas to lead the project. Matas is known for designing the software for the original iPhone, the Nest thermostat interface, and the Al Gore e-book Our Choice. Facebook acquired Matas’ digital publishing company Push Pop Press in 2011 and asked him to utilize his design skills for Facebook content. Facebook Paper ditches the signature News Feed design in favor of a horizontal scrolling user interface, each containing a different section. One of the sections is your regular Facebook feed and the others are selected from 20 categories like Headlines, Cute, Tech, Pop Life and Score. The Headlines section has content published from the Associated Press, Time, and NPR.
If you are interested in an article, you can pull up and pull down the article to read it and close it, respectively. Each story can be liked, commented, and shared. All of the swipes and pinch responds instantly even on older devices.
Matas also worked with a former colleague at Apple named Loren Brichter to work on the app. Brichter worked on Letterpress and Tweetie. Interestingly, there is no refresh button. The app gets new content cards as they are posted, which should become a standard for all news apps.
You can download the app from this iTunes link.