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Facebook Impresses With Reader App 'Paper'

Facebook Impresses With Reader App 'Paper'
Image credit: Facebook on Vimeo

On the heels of its 10th birthday, Facebook has announced a new standalone app called Paper that emphasizes full-screen immersion and gestural navigation to drastically reimagine the way users access their feeds. It will be exclusively available to iPhone users in the U.S. on Feb. 3.

Paper represents the first fruits of Facebook Creative Labs, “an initiative to let small teams within Facebook build standalone mobile experiences as if they were nimble startups,” reports TechCrunch. The app was developed by a 15-person team over the course of one year.  

And a propagation of new mobile apps in the pike for this year, says Mark Zuckerberg, represent the very foundations of Facebook’s future.

Related: 3 Mobile Apps to Help You Make Good Habits -- Or Break Bad Ones

In a Bloomberg Businessweek profile to fete the company’s anniversary, Zuckerberg hinted that as many as six new apps will launch in 2014, including one specifically tailored for Facebook Groups. And perhaps most surprising for a company that traffics in real identities: some of the apps will offer users the ability to login anonymously.

Paper is an amalgamation of both users’ feeds as well as news content in a variety of categories including sports, food, science and design -- sourced from “emerging voices and well-known publications,” Facebook said. While the top half of the Flipboard-like app showcases photo and video, the bottom half features status updates and links to stories.

Related: Soon You Won't Be Able to Buy Sponsored Stories on Facebook

A sleek and intuitive interface allows users to tilt their phones to view high-res panoramic photos from corner to corner, for instance, while stories unfold and can be pinched shut from the carousel with visual language reminiscent of newspapers. Paper also allows users to post their own content with a live preview function, which showcases precisely how the story will be displayed. For now, it does not feature ads.

Check out the app in action here:

Related: Facebook Buys Social Startup Branch to Spearhead New 'Conversations' Group

Geoff Weiss is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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