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Hey Google, Facebook has a 'Reader' that might actually make money

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Facebook is reportedly prepping a service for its users that allows them to display news content in a format geared up for mobile gadgets on its network.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Mark Zuckerberg-run company has been working on the project - internally codenamed "Reader" - for more than a year.

The newspaper appeared to have been given an early look at the service, which it said looked a lot like Flipboard Inc's app that bills itself as an aggregation news service that allows its customers to create their own magazines to flip through.

The WSJ added the obvious by noting that such a service would be good for Zuck to try and squeeze more ad revenue out of Facebook's users, who are increasingly defecting to mobile. However, the company is only working on Reader internally at the moment and there's apparently no obvious date for when it might be unleashed publicly - if at all.

The paper fails to mention Google in the piece, which is about to retire its Reader service - much to the chargrin of many journalists. Facebook's Reader sounds like more of a commercial proposition than the soon-to-be-discontinued service of the same name offered by Google, however. It would seem that Facebook is keen to build a consumer product rather than a functional one that simply collates news feeds together. If it can prove to its investors that it can make ad money off the back of that, then its Reader might eventually be deployed. ®

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