Friday February 07, 2014 | 09:15 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

So, the big social media news this week was that Facebook celebrated its tenth birthday. Actually, this is only news if you somehow missed all of those personalized "Happy Birthday Facebook" movies that everyone has been posting everywhere. Much more exciting was the news that the social network preempted all of the expected “Facebook is dying” birthday wishes by launching Paper. Paper is the latest smartphone app from the big blue social network. And, although Facebook has a somewhat hit-or-miss history when it comes to apps, I definitely think Paper is a hit.

Paper is a mobile version of Facebook’s News Feed, but it also brings the user much more. The app for the iPhone can also be used for reading news from a variety of sources. Of course, you can instant message, like and comment on posts, and do just about everything else you can do from the current Facebook app — except that you are provided with a greatly improved user experience. Some even speculate Paper could become the new mobile face of Facebook. It’s a complete reinvention, once again, of the Facebook feed. And, this time it's a huge improvement.

Part Flipboard, part social network, Paper is laid out like a magazine. And, there are lots of interesting sections for users to turn to. The first section includes posts from users' friends and the pages they follow. Users can then customize the Paper app to add sections that interest them. Currents sections include; Top Headlines, Pop Life, Sports, Tech, Creators, Ideas, and even Pride, a section about LGBT topics.

The app for the iPhone is part of what Facebook says is its big push to deliver "the best personalized newspaper in the world." Honestly, I think it's the entire Facebook experience re-imagined for mobile.

For more on how to maximize your experience with Paper, check out this great post from Wired, Get the Most Out of Facebook Paper With These Quick Tweaks.

You can watch a short video on Paper and download the app here. Check it out and tell me what you think. I know I'm impressed. And, when it comes to Facebook, that doesn't happen very often.

Congrats and Happy Birthday Big Blue!




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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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