Shruti DhapolaFeb 04, 2014 09:48:26 IST
Facebook's new Flipboard like app Paper, is already facing brand name issues. App developer FiftyThree, which created the well-known and well-established iOS app Paper, is not at all happy that Facebook is launching a new mobile iOS app with the same name.
FiftyThree's CEO and co-founder, Georg Petschnigg, wrote a blogpost highlight why Facebook shouldn't do this. It should be noted that Paper was Apple's 2012 iPad app of the year and it is an absolutely gorgeous to look at. The app lets users draw and make illustrations and then share them online. Paper has also seen over a 100 million downloads in just over two years.
According to FiftyThree's CEO blogpost, "it came as a surprise when we learned on January 30th with everyone else that Facebook was announcing an app with the same name—Paper. Not only were we confused but so were our customers (twitter) and the press. Was this the same Paper? Nope. Had FiftyThree been acquired? Definitely not. Then, what’s going on?
We reached out to Facebook about the confusion their app was creating, and they apologized for not contacting us sooner. But an earnest apology should come with a remedy."
Clearly Facebook apologising for just using the name is not enough given that it can and is already causing confusion.
Petschnigg then goes on to say what Facebook should really do and writes, "There’s a simple fix here. We think Facebook can apply the same degree of thought they put into the app into building a brand name of their own. An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name."
He also points out that their Paper app is deeply linked with Facebook and writes, "On a personal level we have many ties to Facebook. Many friends, former students and colleagues are doing good work at Facebook. One of Facebook’s board members is an investor in FiftyThree. We’re a Facebook developer, and Paper supports sharing to Facebook where close to 500,000 original pages have been shared. Connections run deep."
In the end he asks, "What will Facebook’s story be? Will they be the corporate giant who bullies their developers? Or be agile, recognize a mistake, and fix it? Is it “Move fast and break things” or “Move fast and make things”?"
Clearly the ball now lies in Facebook's court. Will Paper sue Facebook? That remains to be seen.
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