Facebook Paper: Does It Fall Flat?

facebook_paperFacebook has just unveiled a brand new app called Paper, which, according to the company, will allow users to “explore and share stories from friends and the world in immersive designs and fullscreen, distraction-free layouts.” The app aims to give users a streamlined and engaging way to read their newsfeeds and view photos, like a unique, customizable newspaper.

Here at 4E, we like Facebook. And we like paper. We also like “immersive designs,” and we certainly love storytelling. So we downloaded Paper for ourselves to see if it lives up to the hype surrounding its release. Here’s what you need to know about our experience:

1. Paper is pretty We aren’t kidding. The app divides your newsfeed into easy, customizable categories. Photos are vivid and crisp (tilt your phone and watch what happens!), and just check out all that glorious white space!

2. Paper is also pretty pointless If you’re looking for a new Facebook experience, you’ve come to the wrong place. That being said, if you’re looking for a new place to read the news and stories you like, you’ve come to the right place.

3. If you have a tablet, Paper is great iPad users, you’re in luck. Paper’s simple, clean layout will be wonderful for your tablet device. It’s almost meant to be viewed on a Goldilocks-like screen: not too big, not too small, just right. For all you iPhone users out there, the app really seems lukewarm. Does Paper make for better viewing than the original Facebook phone app? We think yes. Is it dazzlingly better on such a small screen? No.

4. Who says my paper can only have nine sections? Another downside is that your customizable “Paper” can only have nine sections that you choose. These sections can range from Headlines, to Tech, to Pop Life, to Score, to Glow. (Side note: What in the world is Glow? Name one newspaper that has ever had a Glow Section. Is Glow like a Lifestyle section for aliens? If I choose Glow for my Paper, will I get a glow stick?) If you’re anything like us, you’ll want all the sections in your Paper, and having to choose is a bit of a letdown. Actually, never mind. We’ll just stick with Glow.

5. Try Paper for yourself And when you do, let us know what you think about it. Is Paper the next big thing? Is it revolutionizing media? Will the app bring Mark Zuckerberg some major “paper?” Or is it just a prettier newsfeed? Let us know in the comments below.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Glow is a section about “Style, substance and beauty that’s more than skin deep.” I think it’s a section about Beyoncé.

Photo: readwrite.com
KP

KP

KP served as 4E's senior editor from Fall 2013 - Spring 2014.
KP

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