updated 01:46 pm EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Facebook news reader app for mobile allegedly close to completion
Facebook could be launching its Flipboard-style news aggregating app this month, according to a report. The app, known as "Paper" and rumored a number of times in recent months, will be a mobile-based news reader in a magazine format that is set to be separate from the usual Facebook News Feed, though it apparently shares a number of traits with that part of the social network.
Paper, known internally as Project Reader according to Re/code, is being led by vice president of product Chris Cox with some extra involvement from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Starting a few years ago as an attempt to overhaul the News Feed entirely, part of the project was used in a refresh of the News Feed in March last year. The ultimate aim of the app is to provide a "paper-like" format for news, combining together items from online publications with Facebook status updates, rather than providing a stream of consciousness already offered in News Feed.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
The first sightings of Facebook's possible news aggregating app surfaced in June 2013. Though a later report claimed the app's existence, an earlier discovery in Facebook's Graph API saw listings for RSS feeds, update times, and subscriber details, but in a non-functional form. This was also before Google shut down Reader, causing users to flock to other services such as Digg and Feedly.
Despite the considerable detail in the report, it is possible that Facebook may delay the launch of Paper beyond the end of January, though considering its apparent readiness, such a delay could be short.
Facebook refuses to comment on the rumor.