Almost a month after Facebook announced it was shutting down Notify, the company is binning its Paper app at the end of July. The app which allows users to see their Facebook content in themed sections, lasted just over two years until the company decided to pull the plug on it.
At the launch of Paper in 2014, Facebook had introduced the app as “made of stories and themed sections, so you can follow your favorite interests”, the first of which was your News Feed which you could easily customise in terms of design and formatting.
You can customize Paper with a choice of more than one-dozen other sections about various themes and topics—from photography and sports to food, science, and design. Each section includes a rich mix of content from emerging voices and well-known publications.
Facebook Creative Labs, a the department responsible for Paper, but also Slingshot, Rooms, Riff, Mentions, Groups and Moments, was shut down only half a year ago, as were most of the apps it has produced. We all know though, that Mentions, Groups and Moments are still very much alive though, despite this.
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Either way, Facebook has many little projects, and Paper being one of them is being unceremoniously taken offline with an announcement:
Thank you for using Paper: In 2014, we launched Paper, a stand-alone app designed to give people a new way to explore and share stories from friends and the sources they care about. Today we’re announcing that we are ending support for the app, and users will no longer be able to log into the app after July 29.
As with Notify’s functionalities that were mostly integrated into Messenger, some of Paper’s “best aspects” will be built into Facebook’s flagship mobile app. Many of these features are being used in Instant Articles for example, as
Our goal with Paper was to explore new immersive, interactive design elements for reading and interacting with content on Facebook, and we learned how important these elements are in giving people an engaging experience.
So, is this Facebook’s way to test new things in its flagship product? Create loads of smaller project and then pick and choose what works best and integrate these? Sounds like a plan to me! It doesn’t seem to be alienating people in the process, so why not?
Screenshot credit: SocialTimes