03 Feb Social and News Blend Through Paper
We’ve been seeing the convergence of traditional news and social media taking place for sometime now. Often it’s hard – some might say pointless — to try and differentiate between things like Twitter and LinkedIn, and blogs and sites such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Wired.
Today, any such lines that might have existed between social and news media just got even blurrier. Facebook’s new Paper app is launching on Apple’s App Store.
With Paper, Facebook appears to be attempting to do no less than create a new storytelling – or “storysharing” – experience over social media, making it easier to both share and discover information. The current iteration of Facebook has the sharing part down pat, but it’s not so easy to find news stories within Facebook itself. Paper is designed to literally deliver those news stories to users – kind of like a virtual paperboy – once they select various sections related to their personal interests (sports and major news headlines, for example).
There seems to be enormous potential here for companies that create news and those that distribute it. For media organizations, Paper would appear to offer new ways of engaging with readers. Forbes offers an example of a type of serialized approach to news stories, where readers get their information in smaller bites that cause them to become hungry for the next installment.
Simultaneously, Paper would appear to offer companies an even greater opportunity to expand their news within Facebook’s massive world. For example, technology companies will both have another outlet through which their news can be accessed (by, potentially, 1.2 million users, no less) and the comfort of knowing their news is getting to the right audience (through Paper’s curation aspect). Organizations with news that has a visual component will have greater opportunities to show off their wares through the clean and image-friendly design. And that news can be more easily shared among Facebook users.
As any one who knows me might tell you, I’m not the world’s biggest Facebook proponent (I have some serious concerns about their privacy initiatives, for one). But, as a news junkie, I’m very intrigued by Paper, and am looking forward to seeing how it compares to some of my other go-to news sources, like Google News, Currents, or, yes, Twitter.
I’m even more intrigued by the possibilities this presents to organizations who are looking to leverage social media to get their news out. Because, done correctly, I think Paper could become a great and effective tool for combining the respective powers of new and traditional media.