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Everything Old Is New Again: Optimizing News for Paper
By: Mike Bush
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Facebook this morning announced the launch of a standalone app for news discovery and syndication, dubbed Paper, which based on reports will allows users to aggregate news from social feeds and around the web into one mobile experience.
 
According to Mashable, the new application will have 19 sections, including most you’d expect to see in a newspaper (Politics, Sports, Tech, etc.). Additionally, the home screen of Paper (and each section) will have a more robust feature suite for “publishers” (more on them us in a minute) that includes different size pictures, a layout designed to be more readable, and video capabilities. If you’re a Flipboard user, you’ll likely feel right at home with Paper (Mashable, ReadWrite and Re/code all reference Flipboard).
 
Re/code quotes Paper’s design lead Michael Matas:

As you start changing the way you’re displaying this content, we hope that it will change the way people think about posting content.

Hello Flacks, Community Managers, Brand Strategists, Content Advisors, and anyone else who might have input into what a company is posting on Facebook! The designer of a Facebook project just told us it’s time to reconsider the way we publish, and presumably the number of assets we would need to include.
 
The App launches on the iPhone Feb 3, and I suspect that folks who view it quickly and test it out will have lots of input (if one of my Flack Me counterparts doesn’t beat me to the punch, I’ll post some thoughts after testing it out). I suspect the most important part will be making sure that we publish assets that fit into each of the Paper layouts (an image for the top of the screen, a video that can take over the glass on the phone, headlines that fit into specific character counts, etc.).
 
If Facebook is going to try to replace newspapers, oddly, it’s time for us to revisit our high school yearbook training to make sure we know how to create content for a specific layout.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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