Last June, when Facebook introduced Video on Instagram, the buzz prior to the press event also focused on the possibility of the social network creating a news reader-type product, based on RSS feeds, to take advantage of the demise of Google Reader, and The Wall Street Journal reported later that month that Facebook was working on a mobile news reader that would enable users with mobile devices to see content from other Facebook users and publishers in a visual format created for their devices, referred to internally as Reader. Now, according to a report by Re/code, the social network will reveal a Flipboard-like news-reading service “in the coming weeks,” known as Paper, rather than Reader.
News is in the news again for Facebook Monday, as sister blog Inside Facebook shared a reader’s tip about a new sidebar ad titled, “Get Important News,” and urging users to like three news-related sites.
The big debate last week was over whether Facebook would announce a video-sharing feature for Instagram or some sort of RSS news reader. Video on Instagram was the winner, having been unveiled at a press event at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, but don’t bury the news reader just yet.
Amid all of the intrigue about the new product Facebook will introduce Thursday, developer Tom Waddington has now found evidence to support both of the popular theories, following up his discovery of mentions of RSS in Facebook’s code last week, which potentially signifies some sort of news reader, with his unearthing of mentions of video in Instagram’s code, which could signal Facebook’s introduction of a video-sharing feature for its photo-sharing network.
Facebook will introduce a new product Thursday, but what will it be? Early speculation has focused on two completely unrelated products, both of which have been bandied about recently: a video-sharing service for Instagram, or a reader for RSS feeds.
Could Facebook be aiming to fill the void that will be left when Google Reader is shuttered at the end of June? Developer Tom Waddington thinks so, based on evidence he spotted in the social network’s code.
Last week, the owner of a social media consultancy contacted me via LinkedIn to ask for tips on “articulating her Facebook pitch” to prospective clients. She has many clients, she said, who aren’t convinced that they need to have a presence on what is still the most popular social network. This woman clearly knows her stuff, so her inquiry made me realize that even though Facebook has such a dominant presence, many businesses still do not see its full potential.
There’s a treasure trove of information on Facebook — years of messages, wall posts, and photos. SocialSafe, which recently released its newest version, lets users store their data from day one to the present, in an easy-to-read and access manner.