Facebook Celebrates Birthday with New App

While the one with the birthday is usually showered with gifts and presents, Facebook decided to celebrate its tenth birthday by giving a gift of its own. The gift comes in the form of a new iPhone app called Paper and looks to revolutionize the way people receive their news online.

Happy Birthday Facebook

Launched on February 4th, 2004 from a Harvard University dorm room, Facebook has evolved from an innovative idea into a way of life. In its 10 years of existence, Facebook has garnered a ‘customer’ base of more than 1.2 billion people worldwide. To put that in perspective, one in seven people are using the social network. While that is something to celebrate, it is also something to worry about. Many people feel Facebook has reached its peak and has nowhere to go but down, something Facebook is working hard to make sure doesn’t happen. Their newest idea comes in the form of Paper.

Photo by Facebook

What is Paper?

Paper may seem like an odd name for an internet based company that focuses on paperless communication, but that may be the idea. Facebook, continually looking to evolve and change for the better, is now attempting to revolutionize the way the world consumes news. The idea is a mobile phone application that presents personalized news stories in a sleek, magazine-style format.

Users will download this stand-alone app and receive full-screen news stories and articles in the palm of their hands. With no clunky buttons to get in the way, users simply swipe from one story to the next. It’s like a full screen newsfeed that is tailored to the user’s tastes and preferences. Paper users can customize the news they receive by adding sections to their feed. Sections include categories like “Score,” “Cute,” “Headlines,” “Planet,” and “Food.”

What is the Goal?

While the new app is an exciting addition to the line of Facebook services, many people are wondering what the goal of Paper is. Because it essentially provides an improved newsfeed in a stand-alone app, many people feel it could take away from Facebook’s staple smartphone download.

It appears Facebook is looking to provide a more organized, less cluttered application for people who are fed up with busy newsfeeds. While they want to provide an alternative, they also have no plans to do away with the current Facebook format. Product manager Michael Reckhow said, “We felt you shouldn’t have to choose between one or the other.”  The idea is to give people the best of both worlds: the traditional Facebook we’ve grown up with and a cleaner version for those seeking change.

While Facebook has done much more than Mark Zuckerberg could have ever imagined 10 years ago, his team is not ready to sit back and enjoy the ride. They are hoping they’ll have even more to celebrate in 2024.