Social networking website Facebook is shutting down ‘Paper’, a news reading app which gave users custom made news across different heads spanning technology, sports, food, and politics.
It was introduced in January 2014 and was touted as a new design era in Facebook. It gave users instant articles which gave a better and faster reading experience. Users who visited the site received a message which said that the app would not be functional from July 29.
Facebook had underlined its goals when it started the application and stated that it wants to give an engrossing, but interactive element for reading and also interacting with content on Facebook. When it debuted in 2014, it received much acclaim for its original interface which allowed users to arrange updates by category and did away with virtual buttons to be replaced by interactive animations.
However, research firm App Annie reports that it never featured in the 1,500 most downloaded application list since December 2014.
Instead of Paper, we now have ‘Instant Articles’ which boasts of giving an enhanced and quicker reading experience, whether it is news, views or opinion articles. In a statement, Facebook product manager Josh Roberts said that they had built a massive and immersive reading experience for Facebook readers by working with hundreds of publishers around the globe. Publishers will now have complete control over the appearance of their stories as well as data and advertisements. They could also monetize their contents via Facebook Audience Network.
The low number of downloads is one of the biggest factors for the social networking giant to axe this feature. Facebook had expected the app to become an instant hit, but it did not happen. The publishers will face the brunt of the loss. The app was only available on iPhone and was not available for the Android platform.
The app despite its modern design was not very appealing to the users who were often confused by its complexities. It is surprising that it existed till 2016 with hardly anyone knowing about it.