Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Facebook working on a news-reader app like Flipboard

The report states that the social network has been quietly working on a service, internally called Reader, that displays content from Facebook users and publishers in a new visual format tailored for mobile devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.

It is not clear when Facebook when launch the service or whether there will be a desktop version of the service. For now, it seems to be geared toward smartphones and tablets.

Previously TechCrunch had reported that Facebook was working on such a service and that it would be launched during its 20 June event. However, Facebook launched the Videos for Instagram feature.

TechCrunch had reported that lines of code referring to rssfeeds were spotted inFacebook’s Graph API code. Linking the RSS feed to a user’s Facebook ID, the code schema also covers such aspects as title, URL and update time. Each RSS feed subsequently has entries and subscribers.

If Facebook does launch an app for news aggregation, it could make a lot of sense in terms of monetisation for the site. For publishers, the app could provide a new platform for them to highlight their content from their FB pages without worrying that their content will be lost in the often-never-ending NewsFeed.

But the competition won’t be easy for Facebook. Flipboard, Zite, Pulse and Google Currents are among the endless competitors awaiting it.

The fact that the app is currently only for mobile also highlights the direction Facebook is headed in. Zuckerberg has already said that Facebook is now a mobile company and while some of its mobile products such as Facebook Home on Android may not have received the best reviews, mobile is the company’s best bet for increasing revenues.

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