Paper Critique

For the last few days I’ve been trying out the new Facebook Paper App. Paper uses an all new user interface that changes the scrolling from mostly up and down to mostly left and right. You can view posts in a “full page mode, or a smaller thumbnail view. It’s A little too small for my taste…seems like this would really encourage post skimming.  (This could be bad for churches and business trying to gain awareness and build brands.)

The app is MUCH cleaner. Compared to the Facebook app that shows 13 icons, Paper shows only 3. Paper uses a Flipboard “page fold” effect to seamlessly link to external web content that is seamless. If you get browsing, it’s easy to forget you are using Paper.

Paper introduces a  unique new “autopan” function to view photos. I couldn’t exactly figure out when this effect takes place. As far as I can tell, it is when you have a single landscape photo that was originally included in a Facebook post. It doesn’t seem to kick in with photos that are linked to a separate web pages, when you upload multiple photos or view photo albums. It also seems to cap the number of photos you can see to 10.

Paper also added news, tech, business, entertainment and other curated content that you can add in addition to your normal Facebook feed. These feeds are kept in their own section and don’t clutter your traditional Facebook feed. You really don’t need to go anywhere for news, etc. (I’m sure that was the idea.) I didn’t see any ads yet, but I have no doubt they will come.

paper appCurrently there is no “edit” function and you have to switch to the traditional Facebook app to edit text after it’s been posted. I think they have the dumbest looking app icon ever…zero Facebook branding. It looks like they pulled the graphic from stock clip art.

Overall, I’d say it’s a great “reboot” of the Facebook app. It will be curious to see if it gets traction, how much of the UI others companies “borrow” and how the category feeds will be integrated into the desktop Facebook experience.

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