Paper by Facebook is a complete rethinking of how Facebook should work on mobile devices. By mixing stories from your News Feed and news categories of your choice, Paper offers users a personalized news experience.
Your content front and center
Paper takes a content-focused approach to displaying news stories so that all interface chrome has been removed from the app. Paper is controlled entirely by gestures; swiping down brings you back to the previous screen with a neat page-fold animation, while swiping left and right navigates you between stories.
By getting rid of all interface buttons, Paper puts content first and foremost with large photos and cards for news stories. Tapping on a story will bring you to the mobile web where you can read the story.
Unlike Flipboard, Facebook Paper doesn't strip away the useless interface of the mobile web, and as a result, you're left with tons of ads and links to related stories. If you want a better news reading experience, Flipboard still can't be beat.
Fortunately, Paper does support read-it-later services like Pocket so that you can save your news stories to read later. Apps like Pocket also have the ability to strip away a web page's unnecessary interface to present text and images only.
You'd better love gesture controls otherwise you'll find Paper utterly confusing. By making the interface ultra-minimalistic, Facebook has relied on the use of gestures for navigation. Thankfully, Facebook includes a short guide for new years.
After selecting your news categories, you can swipe between sections by swiping left to reveal other news categories. Stories for each category are located at the bottom of the app, where you can also swipe through.
Tapping on a story brings up the Facebook post where it was shared. Tapping on a link to the story will take you to the mobile web.
Social networking features from Facebook's iOS app are still present, with options to respond to friend requests, read and write messages, and access notifications. Since each post is treated like a traditional Facebook post, you can still interact with Facebook content by liking, sharing, and commenting.
A better Facebook experience
Paper – by Facebook is an ambitious project that rethinks how Facebook is supposed to work on mobile devices. Over the years, Facebook's iOS app has become cluttered and sluggish. Paper fixes both these issues and offers a good news reading experience to boot.
There are, however, other news aggregator apps like Flipboard that do a better job. Paper offers a good balance between news reading and social features but still has plenty to do to improve its news reading experience.