It seems there's yet another excuse to log on to Facebook at work -- to check the financial news.
The Wall Street Journal announced Tuesday that it's joined forces with Facebook to create WSJ Social, a new app that offers Facebook users with a news feed tailored to their online personalities, based on social graphing technology. The app is currently ad-supported by Dell.
As one would expect, the app interface cues both the social networking and Internet news experience. Stories are arranged on-screen in tile format with ads interspersed throughout, all pretty boilerplate for a news app. But there are also multiple personalizations on a given page, with "top editors" chosen according to their popularity on Facebook, as well as thumbnails indicating which of the user's friends "like" which stories.
"WSJ Social is part of our ongoing 'Journal Everywhere' strategy of making Journal content available wherever our audience is," said Sara Blask, spokeswoman at Dow Jones & Company, which owns the Wall Street Journal, in an interview with VatorNews.
"We know that a large number of our readers are on Facebook. This app allows us to break the traditional mold of using Facebook to drive traffic back to our websites and creates an opportunity for users to engage with the Journal directly on Facebook."
When asked whether Op-eds would be available on WSJ Social, Blask responded, "Yes...in addition to all articles and blogs from WSJ.com."
Blask continued, commenting on how WSJ Social will soon adopt the paywall model of WSJ.com. "All content in WSJ Social is available for free for the first month courtesy of Dell, the exclusive launch sponser for the app. After the introductory period, the app will remain free to add, but the content within the app will be a mix of free and subscriber-only."
The app is still in Beta mode, so more tweaking is sure to come. A suggestion from this Facebook user and Wall Street Journal reader? Currently comments appear in a right-side column at the top of the page... Put comments at the bottom of the story, where they belong. Users don't need to read the opinions of random Facebook friends along with the story itself.
Just a thought.