Facebook’s phone-based equivalent of a newspaper gets thumbs down

Feb. 13, 2014  PLYMOUTH VOICE.




Newspapers use 400-year-old technology with prioritized headlines and photos to help you along so you can become well-versed and informed. Once upon a time they were only way to gather information in one sitting.

But now there’s a new way, not necessarily better, but new.

Some folks want news, while others are looking for entertainment.

Facebook, who wants to put it all together, has just launched two new apps, a new reader, called Paper and an upgraded media-reading app, Flipboard, to help bring peace to those people who suffer from never-ending internet news and information.

The focus of the genius types at Silicon Valley, the ones with deep pockets, is to create a smartphone equivalent of the newspaper.

While the app Paper is for stories, photos and video, Flipboard is an upgrade to its digital magazine to organize Web content, somewhat like sections in a newspaper.

The new apps present stories from numerous sources and determine which ones to share with you based on your habits. Computer algorithms gauge popularity, posts and interactions from your friends on social networks, and your own preferences plus human editors who put it all together, or try to put it all together.

Facebook says their goal isn’t to be a news read that assembles headlines, they want to help people discover content. Its home page is aptly called Cover Stories.

With all the new technology, critics say Facebook’s effort falls short in that Paper ignores your friends, the main element of the social site.

For us, to get the news we’ll stick to the old hard copy newspaper with the black and red ink that comes off on your hands, paper you can underline, tear out ads and roll up in your pocket, and preserve our Facebook friends for amusement.

And, when we’re in a hurry, we’ll resort to the condensed newspaper website, the only one in our area that tells the Real Story.

|News Plymouth Michigan

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