SUMMARY: Facebook is launching a standalone app called Paper that takes content from the network and turns it into a newspaper-style platform, driven partly by algorithms and partly by human editors. It enters a crowded market and is likely to make media companies even more suspicious
As has been rumored for some time now, Facebook plans Thursday to launch a new iOS app called Paper that uses a newspaper metaphor as a way of aggregating content from the social network, complete with topic-based sections and content selected in part by human editors. For traditional publishers — who already see the giant social platform as a competitor in the relentless ongoing war for digital attention — this is yet another shot across the bow from a company that dwarfs most of them in both size and reach.
As Mike Isaac at Re/code mentioned recently, Facebook has been hiring editors who will help select the content that gets included in the new app. A spokesperson wouldn’t say how many have been hired, just that they are a “small team,” and that they will be looking for content worth highlighting from throughout the network, both from professional sources as well as individuals. Facebook said the new app would be available for download in the U.S. on February 3.