Facebook and mobile haven't had an easy run of it. Facebook Home, an attempt to capitalize on mobile with a near-walled-garden met with derision and faded with barely a whimper; so far, the only real success stories Facebook has had on smartphones have been the results of acquisitions, not its own development. Paper, new for 2014, aims to change all that, an iPhone-exclusive news reader that promises the best shared content from your friends as well as trusted third-party sources. It's a handsome app, that's clear, but does it do enough to usurp Flipboard, Pulse, and others from the homescreen?
For those of you who've been paying close attention to the Apple mobile App Store for the past few years, you know good and well that there's more than one app out there now with the name "Paper" attached to it. One of the better-known apps with this name was made by the developers at FiftyThree - an app that gained quite a bit of traction in 2012 for their well-made attempt at simplifying onscreen art and journaling. Here in 2014, they're finding Facebook releasing an app with the same name (so to speak).
The Facebook-made app known as "Paper" has launched this morning after a brief preview last week. This app acts as a sort of alternate portal to the Facebook world, allowing the content made by and for Facebook users to be consumed and created with an interface unique to the mobile environment. At the moment this app is being released for iOS, allowing in iPhone users first and foremost.
This week the folk at Facebook have taken a giant step forward in creating a new way for internet-based companies to represent themselves in app form. Instead of creating an app that replicates the look and feel of the webpage Facebook has already, they've created an app called "Paper". This Paper app looks and feels a lot like Flipboard - at first - but works with iPhone users tendency to love swipes, rather than taps.
During its fourth-quarter earnings conference call yesterday, the social network's Mark Zuckerberg discussed Facebook's mobile future, and it looks to be one peppered with standalone mobile apps that provide a decidedly non-Facebook experience. The move will give the company's troves of users -- and even those who shy away from the network -- more incentive to use one or more of its apps.
Facebook saw a dramatic increase in revenue for Q4 2013, the social network has announced, up 63-percent year on year with a significant percentage in mobile users noted. Total revenue for the quarter was $2.59bn, Facebook said, while net income amounted to $523m; of the $2.34bn sales from advertising, over half came from the site's mobile users.
Fans of the West Wing - and of getting greater insight into how the US government ticks - will be excited to hear that today is Big Block of Cheese Day, with the Obama Administration throwing open the virtual doors and answering public questions across social networks. Named after the fictitious day when West Wing's President Bartlet and staff took questions from special interest groups, however wacky, according to The White House the real thing will be playing out today across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram.
No company or web service is probably as painfully aware of the need to keep data safe and private than the likes of Facebook, who holds a virtual copy of a good portion of their users' lives in their hands. Facebook is now sharing part of that knowledge by releasing Conceal, a set of Java APIs that will help other app developers keep their own users' data secure.
As NSA-related news continued to surface, consumers demanded transparency and tech companies felt the heat. Bound on one end by the government and hounded on the other by users, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and similar formed a coalition to reform government surveillance, all the while seeking permission to increase the numbers it is allowed to publish. A legal battle was ignited, and today the Department of Justice announced a settlement of sorts.