Rumors of a Facebook RSS news reader have been around since last summer, when initial reports flowed in about the social network’s plan to offer a competitor to Flipboard. However, it seems that Facebook is close to launching its Flipboard clone, according to Re/code, which says that it could arrive sometime this month.
The new RSS reader will reportedly be called Paper, and it will be “similar to Flipboard” that will be “either a standalone mobile application or a Web experience suited to mobile devices”. The new service will essentially include a mix of news items and status updates from Facebook friends rolled into one timeline, similar to HTC’s BlinkFeed.
You might be thinking that we don’t need yet another RSS news reader to clog up the internet, but with Facebook’s massive userbase, the social network could make RSS readers mainstream, whereas in the past they’ve been strictly niche. With that said, Paper could be a huge success if implemented right.
Development of Paper actually began years ago when Facebook began completely overhauling the News Feed on the frontpage, but the company decided to put it on the back burner after delays hindered Paper from completing development. It wasn’t a huge project for Facebook back then (hence the scrapping of the project), but sources say that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now directly involved in the development of Paper, deeming it an important project for Facebook.
Ever since Google Reader shut down last year, developers have been quick on their feet releasing their own RSS news reader in an attempt to win over a handful of Google Reader refugees. Feedly has been one of the more popular options as of late, and even Digg has its own news reader that it thinks users will enjoy using, but seeing as how Facebook already has over one billion users, Paper could be a massive success right out of the box, but we’ll ultimately have to wait and see.