(NEW YORK) — Hashtags apparently are just the start of Facebook’s push to make it your first destination for news.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is working on a service to aggregate all the news that’s shared on the social network. The report corroborated what TechCrunch reported just a few days before Facebook’s Instagram video launch.
Facebook has been working on an application for more than a year that will collect all the news shared on the service and make it easy to browse through in applications for the iPhone and iPad, according to the Journal. It is said to be similar to the popular app Flipboard, which allows users to create their own custom magazines by logging into their social media accounts.
The Reader app, as it is said to be called, might not be released any time soon, but the company does plan to release news features to compliment the hashtag capability it released earlier this month. With clickable hashtags, Facebook users can now click on the hashtags and see a feed of what others are talking about a certain topic, e.g. #SCOTUS. The company said it would release more hashtag features in the coming weeks, including trending hashtag lists.
As Google plans to shut down its Google Reader RSS application next week, the news reading application and software space has become increasingly popular. While Google plans to shift users over to its Google Plus social network for getting news and information, Digg and AOL have announced alternative RSS readers over the last few weeks. Other applications like Feedly have seen millions move over to its service after Google announced its plans to shut down its Google Reader in March.
When reached by ABC News, Facebook said it would not comment on the Reader rumors, but earlier this year at its Newsfeed event, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook’s goal was to turn Newsfeed into the most personalized newspaper.
“What we want to do is give everyone in the world the most personalized newspaper,” Zuckerberg said at the March event. “It should have a front page, but also let you drill down in any topic you want.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com Columnist
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News