Facebook launched a new news reader app for iOS in an attempt to get people to keep using Facebook for all their Internet needs. Being the geek that I am I eagerly awaited the arrival and downloaded it immediately. The application itself is very pretty, smooth and functional. That’s the end of the application’s charm. The rest of the functionality I have been doing and will keep doing with other apps and services I already use. Facebook wants to take come wind out of the sails of news aggregators like Flipboard, Feedly, Pocket, Instapaper and any other application that allows you to horde news and websites for centralized consumption and sharing. Facebook Paper appears to take its core design from Flipboard as you scan and read stories. If you were to give the two apps to an unsuspecting person they may not be able to differentiate between the two for a few seconds.
I applaud Facebook’s attempt to get back to what the rest of the Internet has been doing for a few years but I am not going to switch over and use Paper mainly because it is through Facebook. As time progresses the less and less inclined I am to use Facebook for anything beyond distant family and friend casual contact. Tracking, watching and sharing what I like and read for Facebook’s purpose of selling that to better target ads to me that I will never click on or support is not my style. Facebook Paper is too little too late.
Between Flipboard, Feedly, Pocket, IFTTT, and a few other choice apps I am fully stocked with aggregators that are 100% disconnected from social network unless I specifically choose to share what I am reading. I don’t need to turn Facebook into that. My blog, my Google+ page, my Facebook page (not my personal one), my LinkedIn profile are where I share information and updates. Facebook will never be the one stop shop of social media. At the end of the day if you want to have a central hub of sharing, blogs is where it’s at. Then you hub and spoke outward to the other networks to reach as many people as you can, not just on Facebook.
I may pull Paper out from time to time or uninstall it tomorrow. I wouldn’t miss it.
If you are an internet user that is familiar with RSS feeds, aggregation, social network diversity than you are not going to add Facebook Paper to your toolbox of apps. I initially thought that Paper could replace the core Facebook app but I am backtracking on that thought. However knowing Facebook they will probably kill the Facebook app and force Paper on us all.
Try it out, the choice to keep using it is up to you. I won’t be one of those users.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.