Zuckerberg: standalone apps will pepper Facebook's future

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.

The statement was followed a short while later by the introduction of Facebook Paper, a solid way to kick off what appears to be one of many plans to boost company growth over the next decade. Though there are other plans in the works, "the 3-year plan is really all about building all kinds of new experiences for sharing," said Zuckerberg.

The shift in the company's focus follows hints towards the movement with Facebook's nabbing up of Instagram, as well as the standalone Messenger app those who chat with Facebook friends can now use. Said Zuckerberg of that separate Messenger app, "It gets room to breathe and blossom."

As mentioned, today the social network introduced Facebook Paper, which is a standalone news app that takes on the likes of Flipboard and similar competing apps to dish up news in a variety of categories, such as sports and science. The app is set to arrive in early February for iOS.