While rumours of Facebook launching a news reader service started floating around after it sent invites to last week's event, a new report by The Wall Street Journal indicates that the social networking giant is indeed working on its own social news aggregation service.
The report cites
people aware of the development to inform that Facebook has been working on a service referred to as 'Reader' internally, that will pull content shared by users and offered by publishers in a new made for mobile visual format. The report says that the company has been working on the service for more than an year and the current version looks similar to popular social news app Flipboard.
The report also adds that Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is personally taking interest in the project providing his inputs on design and Michael Matas, a Facebook designer, is looking after the design. It goes on to say that the service has been designed keeping Apple's iPhone and iPad design elements in consideration.
The company declined to comment on the matter when the publication approached it.
Last week, a report had pointed out
that the lines of code hinting at "rssfeeds" are appearing in Facebook's Graph API code, perhaps an indication that the company was working on a news reader.
It's worth pointing out that apps like Pulse, Zite and Flipboard make use of the users' Facebook and Twitter accounts in addition to their RSS feeds to offer personalised news stories. Facebook might be working on its own service in a bid to increase its mobile app use and monetize it since it only started offering mobile ads recently. It's also worth pointing out that Google's popular news feeds service Google Reader will cease to exist after July 1. So Facebook might be among the group of tech companies that include Feedly, Digg and AOL, aiming to fill the void.
Also see: Top 5 alternatives to Google Reader