Companies like Flipboard and Pulse have built a business on turning the articles that get shared online into a more digestible, magazine-like format. Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, they're getting some new competition: Facebook. The WSJ reports that the project has been in development for over a year, meaning it was already in motion before Google announced its plans to shutter its Google Reader news aggregation app in March. The app is reportedly designed for mobile devices, with no mention made of a web app.
Facebook has stumbled when trying to duplicate popular apps
The internal name for the project is Reader, although that could change before it's released — at some point in the future. Facebook certainly has the resources to get a Flipboard competitor off the ground, but as the WSJ points out, it won't be an easy market to walk into given Flipboard's 50 million users, not to mention a very well-regarded redesign. In the recent past, Facebook has stumbled when trying to duplicate popular apps, as in the case of its uninspired Snapchat clone, Poke.
With Google retreating from the market it once dominated, news aggregation apps have become a big area of interest, with everyone from Digg and AOL to Feedly and others looking to grab a piece of the pie. While Facebook's Reader sounds more focused on presenting content than flying through feeds, it's another example showing that the company wants to be wherever the action is.