Facebook enlisting humans to curate news app, Paper

28 Jan 2014

Image via Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

Facebook is reportedly hiring contract editors to staff a news app that’s said to have been in development for a number of years and may finally be unveiled in the coming weeks.

The app is reportedly called Paper and is an “unreleased, Flipboard-like news aggregation mobile app”, according to Re/code, citing two people familiar with the situation.

Rather than rely on the algorithms used to populate the social network’s much-ogled news feed, Facebook has been recruiting editors for the past few months to select the content that will populate the app. Re/code reports that these editors will curate the best stories within a particular category and that Paper will, essentially, be fully stocked by stories hand-picked by humans.

Users can expect to see stories from a variety of sources, including high-profile publications such as The New York Times, alongside noteworthy Facebook status updates and Instagram snaps. The catch is that stories will only appear in the app if they have been published on Facebook in the first place – providing incentive to publishers to post stories to the massive social network in order to tap into the app’s audience.

Paper has apparently been in development for years, going through various iterations yet still not unleashed on the public, though speculators expect its arrival early this year. Facebook, however, has declined to comment on the matter.

‘Like’ image by Kaspars Grinvalds via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.