Facebook to shut down news app Paper in July

Facebook said Thursday that it’s shutting down its news app Paper on July 29.

Launched in 2014, the mobile app allows people to share stories, read news articles and organize what they want to read by themes. When it was first released, the app was praised for its sleek design, but hasn’t gained a large following.

The company confirmed to SiliconBeat that the app will no longer be available and said that Paper users have received the following note:

Thank you for using Paper

In 2014 we launched Paper, a standalone app designed to give people a new way to explore and share stories from friends and the sources they care about. Today we’re announcing that we are ending support for the app and users will no longer be able to log into the app after July 29.

We know that Paper really resonated with you–the people who used it–so we’ve tried to take the best aspects of it and incorporate them into the main Facebook app. For example, the same team that built Paper also built Instant Articles—a fast and interactive experience for reading articles in News Feed—using many of the same tools, design elements, and fundamental ideas as Paper. Our goal with Paper was to explore new immersive, interactive design elements for reading and interacting with content on Facebook, and we learned how important these elements are in giving people an engaging experience.

We know not all the features you love will move over to Facebook, but we hope you’ll continue to notice elements from Paper improving the Facebook experience for everyone. We can’t thank you enough for using the app and exploring Paper with us over the past couple of years.

-The Paper team

In the past year, Facebook has pulled the plug on other standalone apps including Notify,  Slingshot, Riff and Rooms from online stores.

Paper was the first product from Facebook’s Creative Labs, an initiative that was created to encourage employees to create standalone apps. The company said in December that it was getting rid of the initiative but noted that the experimentation wasn’t over.

Yesterday, the company also said it was tweaking its News Feed so users see more posts from family and friends. The change could make it more difficult for news outlets, businesses, nonprofits and others who have Facebook pages to get their posts seen by the company’s 1.6 billion users.

Photo: Facebook’s news app Paper. (Courtesy of Facebook)

 

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