Review: Paper - Stories From Facebook

Paper promises to keep users on Facebook through its fluid design and sleek interface.

Facebook Creative Labs' debut release, Paper, aims to change the way you interact with Facebook on your phone. The app has removed the cumbersome buttons long associated with the original app and replaced them with a cleaner interface and a tacked-on newsreader. But will this be enough to bring fleeing users back to Facebook?

Pros

Stylish controls: Although Paper's swipe navigation is nothing new, it makes browsing your feed easy. Swipe left and right to navigate, swipe up to expand, and swipe down to collapse. It couldn't get any easier. Imagine Flipboard but with all the stories from your Facebook friends.

Integrated news: With Paper's integrated newsfeed, you can browse the news more directly.

Gorgeous design: In a digital world of minimal text and plentiful images, a giant scrolling newsfeed is very practical.

Cons

No big picture: Paper is great as a feed reader, so it's disappointing that there is no HD version for the current iPhone release. With a larger display, the iPad version would be a more enjoyable digital newspaper.

Bottom Line

Paper could be the best Facebook app we've ever seen. By creating a fluid interface, Facebook has demonstrated that it knows how most users skim through their friends' feeds and has tailored the experience accordingly. By integrating news, Paper aims to keep users in the companion app. Without the inclusion of ads (for now), Paper is a much better experience than the original Web format of Facebook. Even if you're not constantly checking friend updates, the news will hold your attention -- at least until the next time a buddy posts something even mildly interesting.

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