February 3, the day before Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday (my granddaughter Meagan just turned 10, too), the social media giant released an elegant new app, called Paper. It displays your Facebook news feed – and other personally relevant content – in a simple, beautifully designed format perfectly tuned for smartphones.
Data released last month by Flurry Analytics, whose tools measure usage of the 300,000+ mobile applications it tracks by more than 1 billion monthly active smartphone users, shows Facebook’s dominance.
According to Flurry’s report, smartphone users spend 18% of their connected time using the Facebook app. That’s three times longer than all other social media services combined.
Mobile users spend 80% of their connected time on apps, according to Flurry. As our colleagues at 7/Apps note, smartphone users overwhelmingly prefer to use apps for their online activities rather than mobile friendly websites. A responsive website is essential, too, but for many companies it isn’t sufficient to meet their customers’ mobile needs.
Paper’s design is simple. Reminiscent of news readers Flipboard and Zite, it’s built to take full advantage of smartphone capabilities.
The creative hand behind Paper is Mike Matas, who designed software for the original iPhone and the interface for the Nest thermostat.
I’m an Apple fanboy and Nest user. So I wasn’t surprised to learn an Apple alum was responsible for the design. Matas’ company was acquired in 2011 by Facebook. He now leads creative Labs, a new group of small teams inside Facebook. Paper is Creative Labs’ first product.
If Paper is any indication, Facebook’s second 10 years will be as remarkable as the first.
If you’re a smartphone user, download Paper. It’s a native app that confirms why mobile users spend most of their time using apps.
Click the image to view the new promo video: