Facebook’s getting into the content scraping biz. So claims The Wall Street Journal, at least: they say that the world’s largest social network is putting together a news aggregation service, a la Flipboard or Zite.
Quoth the Journal:
The social network has been quietly working on a service, internally called Reader, that displays content from Facebook users and publishers in a new visual format tailored for mobile devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.
This isn’t a new project for Facebook. Though unannounced, Facebook has reportedly been in development for over a year. Mark Zuckerberg himself has reportedly taken a personal interest in the project, aiming to make it the “best personalized newspaper in the world.”
It’s easy to see how this fits in with Facebook’s m.o. Many people already get most of their news and links through Facebook: a dedicated app presenting socially-shared Facebook links would allow the House that Zuckerberg built to monetize shared content even more effectively.
It’s also yet another example of Facebook’s creative bankruptcy. Similar to Facebook Poke (Facebook’s answer to Snapchat), Facebook Camera (Facebook’s answer to Instagram before they just bought Instagram), and so on, this is just another instance of Facebook taking another company’s idea and running with it.
Facebook Reader is an iOS-first joint. Doubtlessly it will end up on Android if it does well, but there’s no word as to when that will happen, yet.
- Source Wall Street Journal