Facebook is taking a step forward to try and engage its users on mobile devices by developing a Flipboard-like news reader that will display content from Facebook users in an easy-to-see visual format.
The project has been in development for more than a year. The Wall Street Journal reports "people with knowledge of the project" have told them about the impending project. The time frame seems to add up. Tom Waddington, a web developer for the blog Cut + Keep, wrote about code he found in Facebook's RSS feeds that showed multiple entries and a list of subscribers.
Earlier last week, Facebook made headlines by announcing video for its popular picture sharing application Instagram. The announcement was teased as "a big event." Many insiders believed that if Facebook didn't announce video for Instagram, they would be unveiling this project instead. Announcing the new RSS reader soon would be an especially good move for Facebook as Google is planning to retire its Reader by July 1, according to Mashable.
Facebook came out with a feature earlier this month that allowed users to utilize the popular "#" symbol to "hashtag" posts and look at public conversations outside of their friends list. Adding a news reader will build off of this new model of helping users find their interests and expand it to more public conversations and events.
Facebook will become a place for people to know what's going on in the world on a bigger scale and it will do it all from mobile devices. While the company could not be reached for comment on the matter, it would only make sense for Facebook, with a dwindling market share, to do something to increase their outreach to advertisers, especially on a mobile market. With the new Reader, people could use Facebook as their number one source of news rather than other applications of websites that aggregate the news in a similar way.