Facebook’s iOS-only news reader app, Paper, got an upgrade today. Paper 1.1 has added features from Facebook’s main stable of offerings, including birthday and event notifications and the ability to insert photos from the iPhone camera or camera roll into comments.
A product of Facebook’s Creative Labs, Paper was released in February and is designed to be an immersive reading experience. User reviews have been extremely positive — some have called it the best Facebook app ever. Although it hasn’t been widely adopted, briefly dropping out of App Annie’s Top 1,500 free iOS apps this week, Facebook says it’s focusing on improving the user experience and not worrying about the number of downloads.
And on that front, Facebook says people using the app are exploring “an average of 80 stories each day in Paper across 5 to 6 sections. Facebook is the most popular section, and Headlines, Tech, Ideas, LOL and Pop Life are the next most read.”
For publishers, the news here is that Facebook continues to enhance the design in their favor. From the beginning, Facebook gave certain publishers, the New York Times, CNN and National Geographic, among others, favorable placement and display.
Facebook has added nine more publishers to this boutique roster — Bloomberg News, Mashable, FT, kottke, Fox News, Popular Science, the Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair and Hacker News — and designer Sharon Hwang has created custom cover treatments, as noted by Mashable’s Kurt Wagner:
Paper is working with these new publishers to add their own design flair to their stories. For example, a story from National Geographic includes a yellow box around the story’s image, similar to the publication’s print version.
Image courtesy of Kurt Wagner / Mashable.