Facebook has revealed the first details about Paper, its news and story aggregation app, which has been the subject of rumor and speculation for the last few weeks. Developed by Facebook Creative Labs, the app will be released at the beginning of February only for the iPhone, and unusually, only in America.
So what’s it all about? Paper is a bit like Flipboard, and the myriad other social news reader apps out there. Here, it connects up to your Facebook account to show stories from your own News Feed, and curated content added by Facebook’s new editorial team. Stories will be split into different sections, such as sports, science, food, and design. Don’t worry though, you can customize the feed to only show content in which you’re interested.
All that will probably sound very familiar, so Facebook aims to differentiate itself from the competition with a gorgeous design, a cool control system, and of course, the chance to add your own personal content. Starting with the design, buttons have taken a backseat in Paper, which is navigated instead using gestures and what Facebook calls “natural movements.” You can flick through pages, swipe and rotate pictures, and tilt the phone to explore large images. It looks fluid and fun in the demo video.
This wouldn’t be a Facebook app without the option to Like or comment on posts, so you’ll see all the usual options along the bottom of the page, but otherwise Paper is all about highlighting posts, stories, and news with the minimum of distraction. Don’t worry, you’re able to post your own stories – that’s how Facebook describes posts made in Paper – inside the app too, with the option of making them only visible to friends, or for all the world to see.
Paper will be released on February 3 through the U.S. iTunes App Store, and it appears the app is only for the iPhone at the moment. Facebook hasn’t provided details on an iPad-compatible version, or information on when the app will be released internationally.