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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Mobile/WirelessNetworkingwirelesssmartphoneshardware systemstabletswall street journalmobileFacebookconsumer electronicsGoogle

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

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?