Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s “Reader app” on the heels of clickable hashtags
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the social media giant is purportedly working on a news service application. This application will gather all news that is shared on the website and will make it simpler to browse through iPad and iPhone applications.
Facebook’s ‘ Reader app’ is supposedly similar to ‘Flipboard’, a popular app through which users can create custom magazines by logging in via their individual social media accounts. Very recently, the company also launched ‘ clickable hashtags’, a feature via which it is possible for users to click on hashtags that lead them to feed that is related to that specific tagged topic and they get to view what other people are discussing.
Facebook says that it has been working on this new feature for over a year now but has no plans of releasing it anytime soon. However, additional hashtag features will soon be announced in the forthcoming weeks. Included in the list will also be trending tags. The entire reader landscape is under transition. Come July and Google’s Google Reader RSS will bite the dust and companies like AOL, Digg and Feedly are just waiting in the wings to grab the readership that the search giant will waving goodbye to.
Why is Facebook foraying into news read?
Facebook is the most visited site on the internet and its balance sheet is heavy with $10B. Why exactly is it then aiming its sights so low? News aggregation is all good in its own place and has been around for close to ten years now. It operates on the simple notion that if a company is able to find as well as curate the absolute best in content on the internet, it will be able to build a scalable and profitable business with very low overheads.
The only glitch in this notion is that this space has now become an excessively crowded one and the list of sites and companies who offer it is literally an endless one. If it continues to grow at the pace that it is growing at, the aggregation model will surely lead to an imbalance in the market. Facebook’s “Reader App” will in most probability be successful but what is perplexing is that a company with the kind of resources that FB has, should actually aim so low.