Facebook releases first major update for Paper news reader app

By on April 18, 2014, 4:15 PM

Facebook on Friday pushed out the first major update to Paper, its standalone news reader app for iOS. Update 1.1 includes a number of new features and notifications – some of which were intentionally left out of the original app in order to reduce clutter and think differently.

Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of birthday and event notifications which are two of the social network’s oldest features. These features are bundled into the News Feed on the core Facebook app but in Paper, they’ve been added to the Notification screen.

Elsewhere, Facebook brought in photo comments and nine new article covers that’ll make it easier to spot content from publications such as Bloomberg News, Mashable, FT, kottke, Fox News, Popular Science, The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair and Hacker News.

Interestingly enough, the company’s newest feature – Nearby Friends – didn’t make the cut.

Facebook also revealed that on average, people explore 80 stories each day across up to six sections. Facebook is the most popular section with Headlines, Tech, Ideas, LOL and Pop Life ranking among the next most read.

Unfortunately, the post didn’t divulge user count which will do little to quell fears that the app might be a dud. Data from the App Store charts and App Annie show the app has been on the decline since shortly after its launch in early February. Then again, it’s still early in the app’s life and Facebook is no doubt still working to find the right blend of features and usability.

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