NEW YORK — From the time that Google killed off Google Reader (R.I.P.), there has been speculation that Facebook was working on a sort of news reader of its own. In a way this seemed odd, because Facebook already is a sort of news reader of its own, albeit one in which much of the “news” is about your friends’ cats, babies and vacations. And it’s getting newsier all the time. Why, then, would Facebook want or need another product that does the same thing?
Well, this week Facebook launched that new app, called Paper, and it looks gorgeous. The company’s best designers have clearly been hard at work designing a mobile app that makes the best possible use of a small screen. Photos and videos appear at full-screen size. You navigate by swiping, a natural motion that mobile news-reading apps like Flipboard have employed to great success. Stories and updates from your friends appear in the form of cards that can be readily scrolled, shuffled, maximized and minimized.
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