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Facebook is developing a Flipboard-like reading app

Mark Zuckerberg said to be personally invested in project, which has been gestating for a year

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
June 24, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3039

(Updated to reflect comment from Facebook)

Facebook is quickly becoming a leader in mobile advertising, and it is apparently looking to bolster that revenue even further with a new type of app.

The world's number one social network has been developing a new service, called Reader, will aggregate Facebook content, specifically news articles, posted by Facebook users, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. 

The service, which is said to resemble mobile media magazine app Flipboard, would be an app for smartphones and tablets app that would allow users swipe to flip through articles, sources said.

Though the project has been in development for at least a year, Facebook currently has no concrete plans to release it at this time. There is even speculation that Faceboo may chose not to release it at all, but Mark Zuckerberg is said to be personall invested in the project, providing input and reviewing aspects of the design at various points, so it seems unlikely that it will die without seeing the light of day. 

A Reader app would fit in nicely with the direction that Facebook has been going for a while now, where it has been trying to become a service where people can more easily discover content put up by their friends, 

This has included the development of Facebook Graph Search, its search engine that gathers information about people, such as photos, likes, wall posts and interests. And it has also involved an updated news feed that allowed users to choose how they wanted it to be sorted: either chronologically, or by only photos or music, or by articles that are trending.

"What we're trying to do is give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper we can," Zuckerberg said at the time.

Most recently Facebook introduced hashtags, to give users a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.

But what reader app would really do is help Facebook bolster its fast growing mobile advertising revenue.

The company went from zero revenue in 2011 to a projected $2.04 billion globally this year, an increase of over 300%. A big contributing aspect to the company's rapid mobile growth was it allowing ads in mobile news feeds beginning last August.

There is obviously a market out there for these types of apps, as Flipboard recently reported having 50 million users. Facebook's Reader app would give the social network yet another platform to display those advertisements.

"We don't comment on rumor or speculation," a Facebook spokesperson told VatorNews.

(Image source: http://www.digitaltrends.com)


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