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Mozilla Has Pocketed a Save-for-Later Service

The browser developers at Mozilla just acquired Pocket, a read/watch it later service:

We are excited to announce that the Mozilla Corporation has completed the acquisition of Read It Later, Inc. the developers of Pocket.

Mozilla is growing, experimenting more, and doubling down on our mission to keep the internet healthy, as a global public resource that’s open and accessible to all. As our first strategic acquisition, Pocket contributes to our strategy by growing our mobile presence and providing people everywhere with powerful tools to discover and access high quality web content, on their terms, independent of platform or content silo.

Pocket will join Mozilla’s product portfolio as a new product line alongside the Firefox web browsers with a focus on promoting the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content. Pocket’s core team and technology will also accelerate Mozilla’s broader Context Graph initiative.

Pocket founder Nate Weiner will continue to run the company. Founded in 2007, Pocket has more than 10 million monthly active users (according to a spokesperson). This is a great tool, but the limited uptake suggests that it’s still a fairly niche service with fierce competition. One one side, casual suers are satisfied by the simple “reading list” features Facebook, Apple, etc have built into their platforms, and on the other side is Pinboard, a paid service which is bound to be more appealing to heavy duty users.

The fierce competition might explain why last August Pinterest bought Pocket rival Instapaper from Betaworks, which had bought the startup from its founder, Marco Arment. Instapaper had more value to Pinterest, a save for later type service, than it did to Betaworks.

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Hrafn February 27, 2017 um 9:13 pm

I can’t say I’m surprised. Mozilla built Pocket support into the core of their Firefox browser last year (rather than leaving it as an add-on, much to many users' disgust). On its own, that move didn’t make a lot of sense — but now that they own it, and therefore have an interest in promoting it, forcing it on Firefox users does make some business sense.

J.D. Ogre February 28, 2017 um 10:55 am

Never understood the point of Pocket. Seems like its only use is as spyware to build a marketing profile. If I want to read an article from a site later on, I’ll just bookmark the page.

Nate Hoffelder February 28, 2017 um 11:45 am

Some people use this type of service to save a copy of an article and the notes they are taking on it. I use it to move an article from my smarthone to wherever.

Moriah Jovan March 1, 2017 um 8:26 am

Put me in the Pinboard camp. I found Pocket visually attractive, but (to me) cumbersome. Add that in to all the other niche services I was using and I totally lost track of where I was keeping what.

Pocket acquired by Mozilla – Andy's Blog March 2, 2017 um 6:41 am

[…] about Instapaper, and their acquisition by Pinterest. Now, their one big competitor has been acquired too. That’s a little disappointing, but maybe not unexpected. Though I wouldn’t have […]

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