Facebook To Debut Flipboard-Like Reader For Mobile - InformationWeek
Cloud // Software as a Service
08:25 AM
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Facebook To Debut Flipboard-Like Reader For Mobile

Facebook wants users to spend more time with the service and hopes that a mobile news-reading service will do the trick.

10 Twitter Power Tips
(click image for larger view)
10 Twitter Power Tips
Facebook is developing a news reader service for mobile devices that aggregates Web-based content and serves it up in a stylish digital magazine. The company hopes that by offering such content to its 1.1 billion users, they'll spend more time immersed within its service, where it can serve them ads.

The service, which is being called Reader internally, has been under development for more than a year, according sources cited by The Wall Street Journal. It resembles the Flipboard news reader service, which lets users create visually appealing digital magazines that can be flipped through and shared with others.

Facebook declined to comment on the Journal's report, and it is unclear if or when this product will debut. What is clear is Facebook's intent: increase the time people spend with Facebook.

[ Want to know about another new Facebook feature? See Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words. ]

Though nearly one in six people on the planet uses Facebook, the amount of time those users spend with the service from mobile devices is limited to skimming and/or firing off quick posts before moving on to something else. By offering news content that users want to see or are interested in, there's a better chance they will stick around longer and, therefore, see more advertisements.

Whether or not Facebook can do this successfully is another matter entirely. The company has misfired on mobile products of late, such as Facebook Home and the Facebook First smartphone. Facebook's attempts to woo Samsung to make another Facebook phone were also recently shot down. As it is with so many things, timing is crucial.

Google is shuttering its popular Google Reader service July 1. Though Google said usage has decreased in recent years, the service still has millions of users. Those users are now being forced to look elsewhere for RSS and news aggregation services. Feedly has stepped up to the plate with its own service that extends from desktop browsers to Android and iOS devices. AOL is expected to debut its own RSS/reader service soon, and Digg is, too. Were Facebook to get its news reader product into the market soon, it is possible it could scoop up former Google Reader users who don't care for Feedly, AOL or Digg. Based on the Journal's sources, however, that outcome doesn't seem likely.

Beyond these newer Google Reader replacements, any news aggregator service from Facebook would also be contending with Flipboard, Google Currents, LinkedIn's Pulse, Rockmelt, Twitter and many others. It is possible that, due to its large user base, Facebook Reader could replace some of these, but it will be starting out at the bottom of a crowded market.

With its stock still well below its IPO price, Facebook needs to find its footing in mobile sooner rather than later.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll