Facebook is reportedly finalizing a mobile news reader service that will compete directly with Flipboard. Tentatively known as Paper, the app could drop as early as the end of this month following years of experimentation, cancellations and redesigns according to a new report from Re/code.
The project was initially intended to be a redesign of the News Feed but after multiple delays and refreshes, it was split into two parts. The first part came to fruition as the News Feed refresh last March while the second has morphed into Paper.
Built by the same team behind Facebook’s News Feed and being led by VP of product Chris Cox, Paper will either be a standalone mobile app or a web experience designed for mobile devices according to a source familiar with the subject. True to its name, the service will present content in a “paper-like” manner as a throwback to the pre-digital era.
Its functionality will be similar to Flipboard in that it’ll be a content aggregator that includes news snippets from publications like the New York Times or the Washington Post alongside traditional Facebook status updates.
While Cox is reportedly in charge of Paper, sources say CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been directly involved with the project and has final oversight over it (and all Facebook products, for that matter).
Facebook spokesperson Jessie Baker declined to comment on the matter, saying the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.
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