Paper review: When Facebook meets gorgeous, or Does it!

After getting a brief sneak peak on how I was able to access Facebook’s latest reincarnation on the iPhone also known as Paper, Its that time to dive deep into the app that has got people wowing on Facebook’s 10th anniversary. This is paper – except, you can’t write on it. The brown shade that is a blurred background is from a video that the app plays at the start – “LOVE ME!!!” it screams!


Picture the looped video on Vine’s app, but in full-sceen, with audio, and with no sign of escape(Much like when your parents are talking to you). No, the video won’t be streamed so don’t worry about your precious pre-paid data plan. Also, No, the video won’t be deleted after it has served it’s purpose so it will forever haunt you – especially when your phone storage is low!

Oh, wait! Okay, you CAN write on Paper…

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Needless to say, you will need a Facebook account to log into Paper(rather than just turning the page) Suprisingly, iOS 7 comes with Facebook integration in settings, so I found this page weird proof of unnecessary repetition. Customized keyboard to match the theme? Nope.

You’re now in Paper. Let’s enjoy looking at stuff you’ve seen all day, but BIGGER! FANCIER! Now, admittedly, I already hated the app, but that is besides the point. I shall continue to point out how Paper has failed on every possible level imagined on the Renowned scale of application development that I coined for the sake of this review.

The Paper Basics

We now step into the actual application (yes, all the while up there, I’ve been wasting your time), you’re met with a mini-tutorial that shows you how to swipe around, swipe aside, swipe left, swipe right, swipe up, and yes – you guessed it – swipe down! Okay, we haven’t yet started swiping.. Facebook decided to keep the best for last. First, we need to learn to hit the next button…… and hitting the Get Started button… You need to learn these key lessons before you’re deemed worthy of the PAPER..!!


Let the swiping begin

What? You thought this was a joke? You thought this was a joke??  Paper is all about teaching us to swipe – nothing more. See disappointments attached below in the form of pixels. Swipe up the headlines tab if you’re the news type.. I ignored this one..

A little ways down the swiping road, I still can’t find anything worth swiping up (Or maybe Paper is still trying to teach me to swipe up and I’m obstinate).

The little circle a the top right are the chat headers that show you you have inbox messages.. Except this time, they were too small to be cute so they just looked like a little ugly eye-sore with some important (or not) information to bring to your alert. As luck (Or extensive research and rehearsal that went into the usage of this app) would have it, I’d inadvertently learned to swipe the chat heads down to the (X) at the bottom to rid my eyes of the aesthetic pain.

I proudly could now say that I had learnt to swipe, and as such, was now awarded the key to SwipeVille, a.k.a Paper.

This is what your Timeline is going to look like

All the picture posts in your feed will show up at the top half as mine did.. All the text-only updates will show up in the bottom half as half-empty self-loathing attention-seeking ‘swipable’ tabs.I had to;

  • Swipe left to see the other updates
  • Swipe right to go back to the first ones
  • Swipe up a story(Paper for status update) to full-screen it (The story then consumes the whole screen and you know.. looks at you?)
  • Swipe down to minimize said story and go back to the every-other-story-and-glorified-picture-marquee page.

Key word: Swipe.

Yes, The pictures move!

I have nothing more to tell you about Paper, because, of course, it’s likely to be a failure just like the Facebook home on Android. I shall now just go ahead and highlight a small feature that Facebook felt was relevant to include (even on their app site).  When I tapped the picture that was on my landing screen/Timeline/that-screen-you-get-to-after-logging-in, it got maximised(filled the whole screen) the image above is what it showed.

Here, should the image be larger than the screen’s aspect ratio, you can scroll the image (sideways) by tilting the phone to the side.. Notice the scrollbar acting as the divider between the story’s text and the Like, Comment, and Share links at the bottom? When I tilted the phone to the right, I couldn’t believe my eyes…

Moving on: I decided to go the whole way and see how one would locate comments on a maximised story. Tapping the bottom-left corner did the ‘trick’. This is what happened.

Obviously, at this point, I was just rushing to take the screenshots and delete the darned application. Localization: how the app will fair in Uganda, with expensive internet and poor coverage. This is what will happen should you decide to ignore my heed and proceed to download the app.

A white page that shows you a spinner – Please wait a little so we can show you a timeout message and try again. Should you manage to get past that with some weird stroke of luck, this is what you should see when you try to maximize a story for viewing..

Pretty white, huh??

Yea, like eshabwe(a Runyakitara local accompaniment serving that is a billion times better than Mayonnaise)!

I actually now see that I should’ve written about eshabwe instead. Paper was a total waste of time, resources, energy, and internet..