Facebook reportedly working on Flipboard-style reader for iOS

By , Jun 24, 2013

flipboard ipad-screen-1

According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Facebook has been quietly working on a new service for the past year that displays content from users and publishers in a format, tailored for mobile devices, similar to Flipboard.

We’ve seen a number of new products this year from Zuckerberg’s team, as the company continues to try and evolve from being ‘just a social networking service.’ There was the search graph, then Facebook Home, and now there’s Reader…

‘Reader,’ per the report, is what the project is being called internally. And word has it that Michael Matas, a Facebook designer who previously worked for Apple and smart-thermostat maker Nest Labs, is a lead designer for the team.

Here’s The Journal’s Evelyn M. Rusli:

“Facebook Inc. FB +2.64% is aiming to become a newspaper for mobile devices. The social network has been quietly working on a service, internally called Reader, that displays content from Facebook users and publishers in a new visual format tailored for mobile devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The project, which the company has been developing for more than a year, is designed to showcase news content in particular. Recent versions of Reader resemble Flipboard Inc., a smartphone and tablet app that aggregates stories from multiple sources and lets users swipe to flip through articles, said the people with knowledge of the project.”

Why is Facebook working on a Flipboard-like reader? Easy. It’s finding that most of its mobile users are skimming their timelines and then leaving the app. And it’s hoping that a more immersive experience will lead to better ad deals.

It’s unclear when, or if, Facebook will unveil the project, but comments from Zuckerberg about wanting FB to be the ‘best personalized newspaper in the world’ suggest it’s taking it seriously. As of now, they’re focused on the iOS platform.

“The team has thus far focused its efforts on building for Apple Inc.’s AAPL -0.80%mobile operating system to take advantage of the design elements of the iPad and iPhone devices, according to the people familiar with the project.”

I don’t use Facebook much, but I’d like to see what this Reader thing is all about. The report mentions something about a ‘trending topics’-type feature, which I think could be particularly interesting considering its 1 billion+ user base.

What do you think about the idea?

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  • http://chanluchannel.wordpress.com/ Christian

    I hate Facebook -.-

  • JoshuaHulgan

    They really are just throwing shit onto the wall at this point to see what sticks.

    • Gorgonphone

      yup and their basic IOS app is still a buggy mess

  • bllackghost

    because of Flipboard .. i still using face-shit!

  • Frozen Bee .GFKS

    you better hurry with that Zuckerfag!

  •  Rich 

    Facebook is becomming less appealing with each new feature for me. Over the last year, i’ve been more envolved with twitter

    • Gorgonphone

      twitter sucks to

      •  Rich 

        In a sense all social media does. But its not bombarded with stupid game requests. And the timeline doesnt need to be changed to most recent

  • Rares

    Making a new competitor for flipboard is like trying to find a replacement for computers. Flipboard is the best service I’ve ever seen that gives you real time info. No one will come near close to this for years.

    • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

      Yes. Flipboard as awesome. But does it have a billion users? I know people with smart phones that still don’t know what Flipboard is. Every person knows what Facebook is.

      • Rares

        Facebook has many years behind and that’s why the astronomical number of users. Just because they have a lot of users, it doesen’t mean they have to controll everything.

  • Gorgonphone

    no thanks … oh and Puls beats flip board in usability easy

  • Malan Raja

    Pulse > Flipboard

    • Gorgonphone

      10000% true … flip board was great but then they complicated it and filled it wit bs options and features that bogged it down sad

  • Aric Bolf

    Initially i tried out the Facebook app on iOS and found it to be tricky to use. I haven’t used it since it came out except for yesterday. I chose to try it out again (i kept it updated) and it’s changed a lot. Much easier to use. I’ll be giving it another chance now.

    Why? I hate having to relearn the wheel. The first version was like that. This one wasn’t. It came off as more natural.

  • mkOS

    I still don’t understand why, a long time ago, they disabled the possibility to rotate Facebook app horizontally. That’s the first thing they have to correct, in my opinion.