Facebook has unveiled 'Paper', its brand new reading and sharing app. And the early reactions suggest it's a winner - good enough, in fact, to kill off a well-established, almost ubiquitous competitor.
Fresh off reporting record revenues of $2.5 billion on 750 million daily users, the social network unveiled its dramatically different app, saying it was designed to "help you explore and share stories from friends and the world".
The aim of the app is to give Facebook users a new way to share pictures and 'stories', and read them in a more "immersive" environment.
The first "section" you'll see on Facebook is your regular News Feed. But then you'll be able to select new sections based on topics like science, design and sport, as well as make your own.
"Your Paper is made of stories and themed sections, so you can follow your favorite interests.You can customize Paper with a choice of more than a dozen other sections about various themes and topics—from photography and sports to food, science and design. Each section includes a rich mix of content from emerging voices and well-known publications."ADVERTISEMENT
The app is the first to be released by Facebook Creative Labs, a workshop where Facebook wants to create the apps to connect its next billion-or-so users.
The app has been given an enthusiastic reception by the tech press so far, with The Verge writing that "it's a complete reimagining of Facebook itself. Once you've used it, you may never want to open the standard Facebook app again."
Unfortunately, it's not ready for the UK yet. While Facebook said Paper would launch in the US on 3 Feb it made no reference to a UK launch.
A total of 757 million people used the world's biggest social media platform every day between October and December, Facebook said, up from 618 million the same time last year.
The number of monthly users accessing Facebook on mobile devices - including smartphones and tablets - rose to 556 million from 374 million, 12 months earlier.