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.

Tags mobilesmartphonestabletsGoogleFacebookwirelessNetworkinghardware systemsconsumer electronicswall street journalMobile/Wireless

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?