Facebook launches Paper app

Facebook's Paper app.

Today Facebook releases a new mobile application called Paper. It doesn't really look a lot like Mark Zuckerberg's crowded, blue social network. But, it is part of his empire, and it might help the company keep building engagement by not looking like ... Facebook.

Slate Tech blogger Will Oremus has been reporting on the app and joined us to tell us more.

"This is a really slick-looking app that Facebook just introduced today," says Oremus, "It's a new way to read Facebook, combined with a sort of news reader."

Paper should help filter out much of the distractions found on the main Facebook service: "It's trying to appeal to the people who want less of the random updates about their friends cats and babies, and maybe more of what their friends are talking about that's in the news or what's happening today that's in their area of interest," Oremus says.

With Paper, Facebook is showing that it recognizes that a portion of its userbase is becoming tired of its flagship social network, and the new app is just the latest alternative the company is offering to the original service.

"They've already got Instagram, and they've kept that as a separate entity," says Oremus, "They've built Facebook Messenger, and now they've got Paper, and Mark Zuckerberg on an earnings call that there will be more in store in the years to come."

And speaking of earnings, Facebook has been exceeding expectations recently, thanks to their ability to draw in advertisers and to get users to click those ads. The obvious implication for Paper is its potential as yet another advertising platform.

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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