My thoughts on Facebook's Paper App

There’s a lot being said about this app all across the web. My take on it after having used it for a bit – it’s not as bad as some are saying. I do, however, agree with Mark (our CEO at Storybird):

The problem with Paper is that it’s *fed* by Facebook. The name and interaction model don’t shift the perception. It’s still Facebook.

Or a better quote still from Mark on Twitter:

Paper: Your friends aren’t interesting enough, so please use this confusing version of Flipboard.

My wife is not a power tech user. In fact, she’s Kryptonite to technology, often breaking most anything she touches. She does like Facebook’s Paper (which is how I’ll refer to it hereafter to distinguish it from the much better, pre-existing iOS app Paper). This could be telling. Maybe Paper will resonate with normal users. My wife has never used Flipboard or any other sort of reader or magazine app. I don’t think she reads much more than her own news feed on Facebook’s Paper app, though, and I suspect it’s the design of that feed which she enjoys.

This is where I’d give the app some props. The use of animations and the aesthetic are quite nice. The tutorial is good. The interactions are nice for commenting and liking something. All of this makes me fall back to Mark’s thought of “It’s still Facebook” – why not just remake the normal Facebook app to have this nicer, more natively iOS 7 experience?

Try that next time Facebook – be bold! reinvent! – surely someone there remembers what that’s like?