Hello, Paper. Goodbye, Facebook.

Find out why you don't need your Facebook app anymore.

Feb 4, 2014 at 8:00PM

When I downloaded Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) new app yesterday, I was immediately disappointed. The app, called Paper, is a news curator with the Facebook news feed built in. While the news was nice, my Facebook stories seemed like an unwelcome intrusion.

Fast-forward several hours later, and I loved the app so much that I deleted my Facebook app on all my devices. Turns out I misinterpreted the app's potential in a major way.

Facebook Paper

Facebook's new Paper app. Image source: Facebook's Newsroom.

Paper can replace Facebook
Before my 180-degree turnaround on Facebook's new app, I sent an email to Motley Fool Technology Bureau Chief Evan Niu, venting my frustration. The news feed seemed to overpower the experience, I explained.

But Evan and I didn't see eye to eye. Evan's take:

I'm actually kind of bullish on it. It has a pretty smooth interface and design and it's a big push into curated content. It's also low risk because they're just testing it out, but has a lot of potential as the new core Facebook News Feed app. We'll see.

His view on the app was coming from a completely different angle. A potential replacement to the traditional Facebook app? I hadn't thought of that.

Thinking of Paper as an enhanced Facebook app, the curated news began to seem like a sweet addition to my Facebook browsing experience. It took on a new form: a more powerful and extra-personalized app that was meant to make the original app obsolete. Indeed, Facebook's core functions, including chatting, sharing, and "liking," were all built right into the app, so I actually could get away with deleting the Facebook app.

Paper, I realized, is an upgrade. The experience was suddenly refreshing; instead of always mindlessly browsing my news feed while I waited for friends to reply back in the Facebook chat, I could now use that time to comb through high-quality, curated news. After my epiphany, I pressed the home button, held down my finger on my Facebook app until it began to wiggle, and I deleted it. Then I walked over to my iPad and did the same thing.

Is Facebook's "personalized newspaper" finally here?
Facebook's aspiration to become your personalized newspaper is nothing new. In a March 2013 Facebook press conference held to unveil the company's new timeline, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that its goal was to "give everyone in the world the best possible personalized newspaper we can."

While Facebook's new timeline may have been a meaningful step toward personalized news, Facebook's new Paper app may be the first sign that Facebook can succeed in the effort. For the first time, Facebook's news feed ties in meaningfully with personalized news.

Many people will probably disagree with my enthusiasm for Paper. Fortunately, that's OK. Users don't have to download it. Best of all, as Evan said, the new app really offers nothing but upside to investors, thanks to virtually no downside risk. If it turns out to be popular, Facebook can take features and ideas from it and apply it to the Facebook app (or displace the old app entirely). If it only succeeds with a minority of users, the app can serve as an alternative for a small group of people who want a different Facebook experience. If it flops, Facebook can move on.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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