Facebook announced the news applications feature at its developer conference f8 in September. The point of news apps is to allow people to find content through friends socially. Indeed, f8 was framed around friends’ influence on what you read, listen to, buy, do and more. Since then The Guardian, Yahoo, The Independent, and the Washington Post have all created news apps. Other publications will be able to develop their own apps once Facebook officially launches its new open graph.
“Facebook has always been a place to discover news through friends,” said a Facebook spokesperson in an e-mail. “Now for those who want to have social news experiences on Facebook and news sites around the web, there are more ways to do so.”
Currently, the Guardian’s application allows you to read its most popular and latest content directly on Facebook, check out its fan pages, and an activity stream how your friends have interacted with the app. In turn, you can share what you are reading with friends and will soon be able to describe your interactions with Facebook’s new vocabulary. The new vocabulary will allow you to do more than just “like” something, but insert your own action. Of course, you can remove the app whenever you like.
The social network has worked with the above new app launch partners, but will let go of the reigns when the features go public. Other launch partners, which include USA Today, The Economist, The Huffington Post, will be releasing their own versions in the coming weeks.
Check out the gallery of Facebook news apps: