Facebook's mobile app, available on nearly every smartphone, is one of the most popular apps in the world. However, it has undergone few major redesigns since users first began to download it on their devices. As any innovator knows, this is a recipe for stagnation.
Luckily for Facebook, it has recently assigned some small teams to the job of creating standalone apps that make use of the social network's most important features. One of those, released just this week, is called Paper.
Paper is more than an extension of the Facebook app. As pointed out by numerous reviews, including this article on The Verge, Paper effectively acts as a complete redesign of the app itself. It can do everything the standard Facebook app can do, but in a much cleaner package.
As the name suggests, Paper takes a user's Facebook news feed and organizes it into a series of paper-like tiles that can be browsed through with the flick of a finger. In addition, users can also scroll through a series of news stories chosen by Facebook's own curators, based on topics customized by each user.
"Paper's Facebook feed is just a better-looking, more responsive version of what you'll find inside the company's main app," read The Verge's review.
It is unclear whether Facebook will pursue Paper as the future of its mobile efforts, or if it will maintain this offering as a supplement to its main Facebook app. What is clear is that in a crowded mobile marketplace, a good redesign is often a great way to generate buzz.
At Sozo Design, we tackle similar re-designs and new development situations day in and day out. We understand the value of redesigning popular products for tomorrow's marketplace. We also recognize that no matter how successful something is, stagnation is not a good thing and can lead to failure.