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Facebook is launching a new standalone mobile news app called Paper that features a slick new look and content creation tools.

Why is Facebook concentrating solely on a news feed app? Well, the company definitely understands that its news feed is one of the most vital components overall. It’s one of the most effective way to lure people back to the social network multiple times a day. But to improve that experience without alienating its user base, Facebook produced Paper.

The app is a huge departure from the news feed in other Facebook mobile apps. As you can see from the demo video below, the user interface is quite different. You scroll through new content by swiping horizontally. When you find something you’d like to read, tapping it will expand the content to the entire screen. You can still scroll horizontally within those individual posts to advance to the next piece of content, too. There are also sections of content split up like you’d find on a news site.

However, don’t think of Paper as Facebook’s take on Flipboard. While there are plenty of news readers available, the majority of them treat social content as a secondary feature that isn’t nearly as interesting as content from online publications. Paper is the opposite. It dresses up those pieces of social content as if they’re the main attraction, while sprinkling in curated news (via an in-house editorial team).

It seems almost like Facebook, in realizing the potential of its news feed, set out to create an app that would replace the morning and evening ritual of reading the local newspaper.

Paper will launch Feb. 3 for iOS and is the first major project released out of Facebook’s Creative Labs department. Check out the demo video below for a closer look, and let us know your thoughts about it in the comments.


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