Facebook “Paper” Reaches for Older Crowd

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Rumors say Facebook's news reader service is ready for launch. Technologist at EverSpark Interactive, Jason Hennessey, says it represents a new target audience for Facebook.

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This was a site that made its name with young people, but its main users now are older adults.

Facebook's long-delayed news reader service is finally ready to launch, according to a leak earlier this month. Details of the reader have the tech crowd abuzz, but internet marketer Jason Hennessey of EverSpark Interactive says the real story is the change in Facebook's target audience.

Facebook has been tinkering with the news reader idea for years, originally planning to integrate it into the main Facebook site but then splitting it off. Those efforts have finally come to fruition, says an anonyous source that spoke to Re/code (retrieved 1.23.2014)—and the source had details.

Facebook's reader is to be dubbed “Paper,” the source said, and will bear a striking similarity to popular news reader app Flipboard. It's not clear whether Paper will be an app itself, or simply a mobile-optimized web experience, but the goal is simple: take the user's favorite media sites and aggregate them into an attractive, newspaper-like feed.

“This is basically Facebook maturing,” Hennessey said. “This was a site that made its name with young people, but its main users now are older adults. A news reader is a good way to keep playing to that audience.”

Hennessey said that stats show tweens and teens leaving Facebook, or simply not using it, as they flock to slicker social media like Snapchat and Tumblr. Young professionals, she said, are more ambivalent, using Facebook side-by-side with Twitter.

“The baby boomers are the ones who tried Facebook and stuck with it. They're also the ones most likely to enjoy reading a paper over a morning cup of coffee.”

Hennessey says Paper is unlikely to offer functionality not matched by Flipboard, but could see success simply because of the large Facebook user base.

“They can roll this out in front of a billion people,” he said. “That's a pretty good captive audience.”

About EverSpark:
EverSpark Interactive is an all-in-one SEO, internet marketing and digital media firm that specializes in gripping, keyword-optimized content. From sales pages to company blogs, PR blurbs to high-quality videos and social media posts, EverSpark's content always gets attention—from both search engines and live customers. The company can be reached at (770) 481-1766 or http://www.eversparkinteractive.com.

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Denae A. Olberding
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