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article imageFacebook Paper is closing down

By James Walker     Jul 1, 2016 in Technology
Facebook has announced it is closing down its news-reading app Paper. The app failed to emulate the success of news aggregators like Flipboard and will be closed down next month two years after its launch. The app has already been pulled from iOS.
Paper was a standalone app launched to make it easier to browse through and read news articles from top sources around the world. It aimed to offer a cleaner and more simplistic design than the News Feed in Facebook's main app, putting content above all else.
Fans praised Paper for its unique design and characteristic animations. Simple actions and inputs triggered elegant and complex visual feedback, encouraging the user to continue browsing. Tapping on a link caused it to unfold in a manner reminiscent of a letter, bringing concepts from traditional newspapers into the online content.
The app is officially closing down on July 29. Its page on Facebook's main website has already been removed and the app has been pulled from iOS' App Store. At the end of the month, Facebook will disable it entirely, preventing users from logging in and reading the news.
In a letter to users, published by Engadget, Facebook thanked Paper's community and announced the impending end of support. It said it is moving some of the best elements of Paper to the Facebook News Feed but admitted that not all features will make the cut.
"We know that Paper really resonated with you - the people who used it - so we've tried to take the best aspects of it and incorporate them into the main Facebook app," the company wrote in the letter.
"Paper also built Instant Articles - a fast and interactive experience for reading articles in News Feed - using many of the same tools, design elements, and fundamental ideas as Paper. Our goal with Paper was to explore new immersive, interactive design elements for reading and interacting with content on Facebook, and we learned how important these elements are in giving people an engaging experience."
In a tweet yesterday, Paper design lead Mike Matas revealed over a hundred thousand people are currently using Paper. The app appears to have attracted a small but loyal following, becoming popular with those who like browsing news on Facebook but aren't enamoured with the clutter of its main app.
One hundred thousand is negligible compared with Facebook's 1.6 billion total users though. The company seems to consider it time for Paper users to return to its main app and the recently reworked News Feed.
Paper's end has been anticipated for some time. The app was last updated in March 2015 and Creative Labs, the Facebook initiative that built it, was closed down last December. Paper hasn't ranked in the top 1,500 downloaded apps since December 2014 and was only ever available on iOS, cutting out Android users and impeding the growth of the platform.
More about Facebook, facebook paper, Apps, Smartphones, Ios
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