The service, which is called “Paper,” will reportedly operate in a manner similar to Flipboard, a news aggregator that pulls in social updates alongside news stories from publications of interest to the user. Paper will definitely incorporate Facebook posts, according to Re/Code.
It is still unclear whether Paper will exist as a standalone app or in some other format. A Facebook spokesperson declined to offer more details, saying, “We do not comment on rumors and speculation.”
Facebook’s news reader has been in the works for years, and is reportedly a “pet project” for Facebook’s VP of Product, Chris Cox. The company has used other areas of the platform, primarily News Feed, to demonstrate an interest in news aggregation over the past 12 months.
When Facebook redesigned News Feed last March, Mark Zuckerberg openly expressed his interest in pursuing a more holistic news experience within Facebook. “What we are trying to give everyone is a copy of the best personalized newspaper in the world,” he said about News Feed at the press announcement.
Facebook has since updated its News Feed algorithm twice in order to surface more “high quality” content for users. Sources familiar with News Feed say that identifying relevant news content for users will be a major focus for the company in 2014, and a Flipboard-like application would certainly fit in with that goal.
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