With Its New App Paper, Can Facebook Overcome the Burden of Being Facebook?

Paper, Facebook’s new iPhone app, is a confident product from a company that’s been slow to master the nuances of creating a fine mobile app. Out today, it’s probably the best Facebook has ever looked. But behind those looks lies a smart strategy to turn Facebook into a publisher of original content. Maybe, like Facebook Home, it will crash. But it’s still a fascinating window into how the company might eventually face off against media brands and content publishers.

Created by a small group of star designers and engineers operating as a sort of startup within the company itself, Paper isn’t a replacement for the official Facebook app so much as an alternative to it. Nevertheless, it’s far more polished and satisfying than Facebook’s other offerings, letting status updates and pictures luxuriate in a fullscreen layout instead of relegating them to a cramped vertical feed.

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Facebook Paper Has Forever Changed the Way We Build Mobile Apps

Mike Matas was sitting on an L-shaped couch inside one of the largest offices at Facebook, holding an iPhone that plugged into a Mac laptop through a long, black cord. It was the early afternoon, and he was surrounded by several Facebook colleagues, including Chris Cox, who oversees the development of new products at the social networking giant as one of the top lieutenants to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The office belongs to Cox, and it often hosts meetings like this one, where Matas was about to reveal something he’d hacked together earlier that morning, after the idea came to him the night before. As the others watched, Matas tapped on his iPhone and opened a digital photo of Niagara Falls. The phone zoomed in on the heart of the image, showing the glistening falls in sharp detail, and then, simply by tilting the phone back and forth, he could explore other parts of this high-res photo, panning across the image as if he was moving through a virtual world or a 3D game.

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Armed With Facebook Retargeting, Shazam Plans to Survive the Social TV Shake-Out

People who use Shazam to "tag" the game's broadcast this year will be shown a new Twitter-like timeline. The live content feed will document the game -- from tweets to photos to ads -- and is designed to keep people using Shazam for the duration. But even if people tune in and out of the app, Shazam has created a new ad-retargeting program that plugs into Facebook.

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Facebook’s share of digital advertising growing fast, thanks to mobile


Facebook will nearly triple its share of global mobile advertising in 2013 compared to 2012, according to research firm eMarketer. They forecast that Facebook will have about 15.8 percent of the total global ad market, ahead of Pandora, Twitter and others. Google, however, is still the big kahuna with 53.17 percent of the overall market, up from 2012. The overall mobile ad market is forecast at $16.65 billion — up 89 percent from 2012.

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