Facebook is reportedly looking for editors to power Paper, a rumored news-aggregation mobile app, who will filter and curate articles by-hand.
The rumor is that Paper will work like Flipboard, and that its editors will oversee roughly ten news verticals. The editors will select the “best stories” in each category and then push them to the feed for Paper’s users, reports Re/code.
Facebook’s rumored hiring of editors for Paper marks a departure from how the social network has curated content for your News Feed. The things you see on your feed are there because of data, algorithms and a bunch of other complicated robot stuff. If the editor rumor is true, then data-driven results will be completely replaced by arbitrary human selection.
That last bit about “arbitrary human selection” has already sparked a bit of criticism. Some observers fear an even greater intrusion of native ads, and there are concerns over whether editors will select the “best content” as opposed to the “best-connected” content, if you catch our drift.
Even though we know relatively little about Paper, it seems like it will more or less be it’s own thing. It doesn’t have anything to do with News Feed, which is unlikely to change.
And again, this is all the stuff of rumor right now, even though Facebook’s new trending tool pretty much confirms that the social network is starting to explore more newsy options. The trending function is welcome (if long-awaited), but it might just be the first step in Facebook’s broader plan for news-based content, not just some late-game “catch up.”
[Image: Thomas Hawk]