Great Achievements in Facebook

Facebook Gets Out of Its Own Way With Paper App

Not gonna lie, it looks nice.

woman checks facebook paper in the tub

Accurate footage of a woman checking Facebook. (Screengrab: Vimeo.com/facebook)

Facebook is releasing a stripped down, aesthetically pleasing app called Paper. This may be the first time in its history the social network has created an upgrade that doesn’t leave users grumbling.

After all, the social network is really good at giving people anxiety. Scrolling through your feed, you’re apt to slog through exes’ engagements, #WAKEUPAMERICA rants, and a dozen BuzzFeed quizzes before you finally give up and check Twitter.

And don’t even get us started on the unnecessary features. No, we don’t need Facebook chat on the go; that’s what texting is for. No, we don’t need to stick a frowny face plus the words “feeling discouraged” onto our status; that’s what therapy is for.

Is that a smize? (Screengrab: Vimeo.com/facebook)

Is that a smize? (Screengrab: Vimeo.com/facebook)

But Facebook Paper strips those superfluous features away, making for a much more attractive experience.

Instead of a busy feed with chats on the right and likes, shares and comments all over the damn place, Facebook Paper allows your friends’ photos and updates to take up more room. It’s a more immersive experience, and it’s definitely more attractive.

Well, that’s if you’ve got the right kind of Facebook friends. If not, get ready for plenty of full-screen Ron Paul memes and “Let me explain why my besties are amazing #blessed” rants.

But even if your friends are annoying, this app is just pretty. Take a look at the promo video below. Attractive grownups are grinning tearfully at their iPhones like they’ve never seen them before. People are using typewriters and cameras from the ’60s for some reason. It’s like an Anthropologie catalog come to life.

Note that everyone in this promo is a full grown adult. Maybe Facebook has finally given up on teens?

Either way, it looks like the folks at FB have realized we’re not on Facebook because we love Facebook. We’re there because everyone else we know is there, and this is how we keep tabs on each other now. People may use the app’s instant messaging and other features sometimes, but we’re mostly there to gawk at each other. With Paper, that gawking is encouraged. The users’ photos and text — not the Facebook app itself — are the products we’re consuming.

And hey, it looks nice. Your move, Twitter.

(h/t The Verge)

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com