A Facebook Reader could prove a mobile boon

If reports of new Facebook news aggregator are correct, new app could keep mobile users busy

Facebook is where many people go to get news about their friends' latest parties and vacations. Now, if reports are accurate, Facebook may soon be where smartphone and tablet users can get the latest news from around the world.

Industry analysts say that adding a Facebook brand of news reports could be a great move for a social network looking to beef up its mobile offerings.

"It's a good idea. Hearing about how drunk your friends got last weekend gets old," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "They could show you news stories and tell you what stories your friends are reading."

Facebook is working on a news aggregator service, dubbed Reader, that brings together news stories from different outlets and enables users to swipe through to quickly scan articles, according to a report this week in the Wall Street Journal. The service will be offered as an app for smartphones and tablets, according to the report.

A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on Reader.

The reported Facebook plan comes amid a flurry of news reader activity since this spring Google announced this spring that it was pulling the plug on its flagging Reader Web app and service.

Feedly, for one, quickly stepped up and said it would offer a paid reader service this year, while AOL Monday launched a rival product.

"It is amazing how many companies filled the empty space left by Google," said Gottheil.

"There are rumors about about a pure reader, without social network input. That doesn't make sense for Facebook. Take advantage of friends' feeds and work that into it," he suggested.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said it would be perfectly natural for Facebook to aggregate news sources.

"Facebook already is doing this in a way," Kerravala said. "There's generally a lot of news in user feeds but it's often from following news sites or from their friends reposting pieces. I think they have a big enough audience that it would be a successful product."

He also said it's a good move for a company intent on pulling in more mobile users and figuring out how to make lots of money off of them.

"People use their mobile devices to kill dead moments in the day, like waiting for a cab or riding on a bus," Kerravala said. "News can be consumed in small bites. That is right up Facebook's alley."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in