Facebook has made a play for native ads and sponsored content market that may just crush all its rivals.
In short, Facebook Paper is minimal, intuitive and exhibited on the web news platform Flipboard. It could also be seriously addictive. Tap on a interesting piece of content and it goes full-screen. In other word, Facebook looks better on Paper. It doesn’t even have its own branding or logo on the app.
The cluttered Facebook columns are absent, while users can actively select the topics they want to see. In a brand new form, with only 40 publishers on board, Facebook will be able to push the Paper app to its one billion users and present that audience to advertisers and brand agencies.
Paper is Facebook’s latest step towards controlling the flow of content, and all the native ad dollars that go with it. Want to place a native ad in someone’s social media feed? Facebook’s got you covered. Want to place a sponsored post in their go-to newspaper? If Paper takes off as expected, Facebook will have that covered, too.
Many social media experts have stated that Paper is the best Facebook app ever, noting that this app focuses on content, and not building friend lists. The ability to effectively demote your friends below Facebook’s editorially curated content heralds a sea change for the company. Paper allows you to experience a world built by Facebook engineers that doesn’t have Facebook’s core product in it.
The app still has social sharing and friend notification and messaging features, but the focus is on allowing users to create their own specialised news feed. Content cards scroll along the bottom of the screen, and curation and control is handed to the user. Senior executives at Facebook are said to have switched over exclusively to the app and see it as its future dominant platform.