Facebook has announced Paper, a news reader app obtaining content from a user’s Facebook news feed and from other well-known publications, with the expected launch date being today. The app has landed, as promised, and is available to US iPhone users, but there is a fight about its name.
The problem with Paper is that there is another popular iOS app called Paper developed by a small company, FiftyThree. The latter launched an app back in 2012, allowing its users to sketch on the iPad, just like they do in a traditional notebook.
As the New York Times points out, the app was so popular – seeing double-digit million downloads – that in 2012 it was named by Apple as the “Best App of the Year”, and also received several other awards.
So, when the social network giant announced their own app entitled Paper, the guys from FiftyThree were surprised, and asked Facebook to change its new app name. It must be noted here that FiftyThree trademarked its app name as “Paper by FiftyThree”. But, as you can see, despite complaints, Facebook proceeded as scheduled without changing the app’s name.
When contacted by the NYT, FiftyThree pointed to several similarities the two apps have and said there is a simple way for Facebook to fix the situation.
Unfortunately for FiftyThree, in terms of power, the balance seems to favour Facebook: the social media giant has more than 6,000 employees, and is currently worth $150 billion. By comparison, FiftyThree has 34 employees and an unknown valuation.
You can download Paper by Facebook from the App Store.