Paper – stories from Facebook
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Paper – stories from Facebook is a social app that combines the popular social network with news feeds from external news sources. As with the Facebook you already know, this app is not appropriate for younger kids because of privacy concerns. Although it's a different format, it's still possible for kids to unknowingly or accidentally share personal information they shouldn't. There are no inherent concerns about violence, sexuality, or other issues -- though that is always subject to change based on the people on your friends list and the additional feeds you choose to include.
What's it about?
The first time a user launches PAPER - STORIES FROM FACEBOOK, they're asked about what interests them and given the chance to add those interest categories to the app's feed. It's a buzzword-driven collection, filled with words such as "Headlines," "Tech," "Planet," "Ideas," and "Flavor," but easily discerned. Although your news feed is still your launch screen, a swipe of the screen takes you to other areas of interest. Instead of forcing stories on you, the app offers a small preview. Want to learn more? Zoom it open with your fingers. Finished? Pinch it shut. News stories are incredibly easy to read, and photos are expanded to full screen. Posting, messaging, and all the other traditional Facebook features are still available, but they're not as intrusive as they seem with the regular Facebook app.
Is it any good?
While pundits discuss whether Facebook is becoming irrelevant, the king of social media has deftly reinvented itself with Paper – stories from Facebook. The app discards the traditional look and feel of the news feed, introducing a much cleaner list of items that put the emphasis on updates and pictures. Taking things one step further, it no longer feels the need to segregate its audience from other news sources. Paper lets you keep up not only with the world your friends live in but the world at large -- giving it an all-encompassing feel. It's hard to describe how much the diversity increases the appeal.
Data sources aside, it's also masterfully designed. Accessing new stories feels natural, and the app makes uploaded pictures look incredible. It'd be nice to have an offline reading mode and a few other small features, but this is an app that reminds any user that Facebook is hardly losing its appeal. If anything, it's changing nicely with the times. All of that said, however, it's still Facebook -- and something that remains unsuitable for younger children.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the need to know who's accessing information before sharing it -- and the importance of privacy in the digital age.
Families also can discuss what is appropriate to share with others -- and what should be kept to oneself.