When Google announced that its own Reader would be dissipating, companies poised to create readers quickly stood up. Facebook, too, is working on a Reader, but this reader won't be like the rest. In fact, it won't be a RSS reader at all. Instead, the new Facebook Reader will be more like Flipboard and less like anything that Google ever put out.
Why Facebook Isn't In the RSS Race
Facebook knows its users very well. Spending hours analyzing user data, Facebook developers understand what users want - and most Facebook users don't want anything to do with RSS. In fact, Facebook users have never used RSS, for the most part. So, why would Facebook be working on a reader?
The WSJ reports that Facebook's reader isn't the usual sort. Instead, the social network's newest program in development is simply called 'Reader,' but it's more like a Flipboard-type program. Facebook wants to develop something that will have users spending more time on the social network, and that means letting users read real news from a Facebook feed.
How Facebook's Reader Will Work
Facebook hasn't clearly announced any details about the company's new reader yet, but we can estimate that it will be a standalone iOS app. This is what makes sense for the time being, at least. The app will display news in the form of photographs for all to see. But, that's all that can be speculated at this point in time.
Facebook has also stated that the company's reader will not be a Google Reader replacement, and that Facebook is not competing with companies like AOL that are gunning to take over where Google Reader left off. Instead, Facebook is going after a much broader category of users that simply want a way to look at news quickly.
'News Makes Sense
If there's one thing that Internet users will spend time on, it's news. That's why there are a ton of news apps, and each startup behind each app has managed to succeed. As Internet users, we will spend time looking, reading, and understanding news - and we will download a number of news apps until we find one that we can relate to.
For some, this may mean waiting for the new Facebook Reader and downloading that app. Will it be different enough? Will news hounds want to read what Facebook puts out?
Maybe; but one thing is for certain (and this is what Facebook is banking on): Facebook users will spend more time on the site if news is part of the deal. Really, that's the only thing that Facebook wants: more people spending more time on the Facebook site (or using a Facebook app).
Is Facebook creating a reader? Yes. Is that reader going to pick up where Google Reader left off? It doesn't look that way. Would you use Facebook Reader? So far, it looks like this reader will consist of imagines over text, but we'll have to wait and see what Facebook comes up with.