I hate (Facebook’s) Paper. Flipboard, you’re safe.


Disclaimer: I was in a pissy mood when I wrote this. I cuss a lot in this post.
Facebook-Paper-Icon

On Monday, Facebook dropped their latest app, the horribly named “Paper.”

What’s Paper?

Paper is Facebook’s new mobile app which allows users to see their friends’ posts and news stories in a new Flipboard-like style presentation.

Notice I said “Flipboard-like” (aka not original).

Of course, all kinds of folks jumped on Facebook’s dick, proclaiming how great it was and how it was going to revolutionize the way people got their news.

But not me.

I reiterate “Flipboard-like.

Frankly, I was put off by the whole thing.

I’m thinking:

1. Why would Facebook name their app “Paper” when there is already a “Paper” (by 51) a “Paper” (by miSoft) and countless other apps bearing the “Paper” moniker?

2. Do we need yet another Facebook app to get at our Facebook feeds? Isn’t that what the Facebook app is for?

3. Does Facebook think we have nothing better to do with our time than troll through our friends’ news feeds just because the UI looks like a Flipboard?

And “yes” I think in numbered thoughts.

But I can’t really hate in ignorance, so I downloaded their stupid app to allow my hate of all things Facebook to be informed.

Since I prefer to read shit on my beloved iPad, I went to the app store to cop the iPad version.

Typed “Paper” in the search bar and found everything BUT the fucking Facebook app.

There were literally hundreds of apps with the word “paper” in them, none of which were the one I wanted.

Imagine that.

So I went to Safari, found https://www.facebook.com/paper which took me to the iTunes page with the damn app and downloaded it.

The “Details” page indicates that Paper is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, but is optimized for the iPhone 5.

Optimized for the iPhone 5?

What the fuck does that mean?

Shitty graphics on the iPad.

That’s what it means.

Who wants to look at that grainy shit?

Who wants to look at that grainy shit?

Review Stephen. Don’t hate (yet).

Open Paper up on your iPad and prepare to have your vision blur – or appear to blur due to the grainy, pixelated images you’re presented with.

But shitty graphics aside, what’s up with Paper anyway?

Well, the first thing Paper does is play a little promo – quick vignettes of…well…paper, which resolves to the title page of the app.

Then you’re presented with a three (3) slide tutorial, describing how to use paper: “Do this. Then do that. Then this..blah, blah, blah.”

In short, you create your personalized feed by selecting pre-set cards, which you swipe up to add.

To select a story in your feed, you simply swipe up.

And to read that story, swipe up again.

To go back, simply swipe down and you’re back at the start.

Whoopdee.  

Fucking.  

Doo.

So what’s the big deal about Paper?

Well for one, instead of seeing your entire Facebook feed, you’re reading a curated feed.

Oooooooo!

Next, you’re no longer scrolling down an exhaustive page of updates. You’re scrolling – sideways.

Ahhhhhhhh!

And you can pan photos in Paper, giving a panoramic view of your pictures.

Gasp!

Most importantly, instead of opening a new page, when you select an item, your content fills (or recedes from) the page with a swipe.

Swoon!

As a fan of gesture based navigation, Paper is spot on.

Its very intuitive and even the most dense user could figure it out without Facebook’s loud and heavy handed tutorials.

But what makes Paper different from – oh I don’t know – say, Flipboard?

Aside from the Facebook-specific content?

Very fucking little.

And that’s not good for Facebook.

A quick side-by-side comparison will show you why.

Both Paper and Flipboard offer a tiled layout and swipe navigation.

And while they’re each great on design, Flipboard is far better in overall execution, to wit:

  • Where Flipboard provides unlimited topics for customizing your feed, Paper only provides a handful.
  • Where Flipboard allows you to share content widely with other social media platforms, Paper only lets you share within Facebook.
  • Where Flipboard has iPhone and iPad versions of their app, Paper only has an iPhone version.
  • Where Flipboard emphasizes discovery, Facebook focuses on curation (of their own content).

I could go on ad infinitum, but suffice it to say, Paper isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

And at the end of the day Paper is really just Facebook with makeup on (minus all the ads).

Do you cop it?

If you’ve got an extra 54 MB sitting around on your device – and you’re a chronic waster of time – sure!

Would I recommend it?

If you’ve got an extra 54 MB sitting around on your device – and you’re a chronic waster of time – sure!

Would I recommend it if I cared about you even one scintilla?

Abso-fucking-lutely NOT!

Take the red pill, wake the fuck up and leave Paper alone.

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Filed under apps, iPad, iPhone, mobile

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