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Facebook Turns to Standalone Apps



    Facebook, after repeatedly trying to incorporate applications into the social network, has decided to just create standalone apps to compete with startups, according to a report.

    When faced with competition, Facebook would often buy the startup, such as Instagram, but when Snapchat refused Mark Zuckerberg's $3 billion offer, perhaps that was when Facebook realized it had to innovate quickly or lose relevance. Facebook did have a similar app it created in 12 days, Poke, but it failed to catch on or make the tiniest dent in Snapchat's marketshare, according to TechCrunch.

    So, maybe because Facebook realized it had to act rather than just copy, Facebook has been buzzing about several of its new apps, namely Messenger and Paper, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Paper is set to launch next week. From the report:

    If Facebook is the Internet’s social newspaper, Paper strives to be its magazine: photos, friend updates, and shared articles show up in an image-heavy, uncluttered way. The stories are picked and ordered based largely on how much they are shared and “liked” on Facebook, with a team of human editors ensuring that the content comes from the right sources. 

    Facebook's Messenger app was relaunched in November, and has 430 million users already, TechCrunch reported. The app which essentially lets users message each other photos, video and texts, appeals to  the mobile generation and has been the first success out of Facebook Creative Labs.

    While Facebook doesn't always have to create winning apps, its scattershot approach at creating standalone apps is helping to improve its mobile numbers and increase its relevance in the world.