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

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

It's a pretty interesting article to read. I will learn more about this company later.

Dan Bullock

40 staff and 1000 contracts affected as foodora closes its Australian operations

Read more

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in