How To Get Facebook Paper If You’re Outside The US

Good news: Facebook’s super pretty new standalone app, Paper, launched today.

Bad news: For some crazy reason, it’s only available if you’re in the US.

Good News, part 2: That restriction is a pretty easy thing to workaround.

(If you’re just looking for the Paper download link, here it is)

If you’ve ever had to work around the App Store’s geographical restrictions before, this’ll all be old hat. And if you haven’t? Don’t worry — it’s easy.

All you have to do is convince iTunes that you’re from the US. If you’re trying to download a paid app, that’s a pretty huge pain; you’ll need a local address, a local credit card, etc. But Paper is free! So iTunes doesn’t hassle you too much.

Note: Changing your country will remove whatever credit card you have on file with iTunes. So make sure you have that credit card handy to re-enter the details later. If you have a giftcard balance on your account, iTunes will make you spend it before you can change countries.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Grab your iPhone/iPad. Open up the App Store
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap the button that says “Apple ID: [your email here]”
  • Tap “View Apple ID”.
  • Enter your password
  • Find the section that keeps track of your country. Tap the “Change country or region” button.
  • Change your country to United States
  • When it asks for your payment info, just choose “None”. Like we said above: if you’re trying to get a paid app, you’ll need to find legit payment info tied to a US address for this part. But since Paper is free, you’re good to go.
  • Hurray! You’re now on the US App Store. Go download Paper, then you can change your settings back by following the same steps again.
  • Here’s the direct link to the app’s page, if you need it

Just a heads up: If Facebook really wants to lock this thing down to US-only for whatever reason, it’d be fairly trivial to implement a geofence that borks the app when you’re outside of the country. But they probably won’t do that. Hopefully.

Even if you live in the US, keep this trick in mind! App developers will often release their apps in non-US countries as a soft-launch/beta test, because apps that aren’t launched in the US tend to not get noticed by US press. If you hear about an app being available elsewhere early, this trick might help you get it.