No One Wants to Own Instapaper
Now Instapaper is being spun out as an independent company.
Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc., a new company owned and operated by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper since it was sold to betaworks by Marco Arment in 2013. The ownership transfer will occur after a 21 day waiting period designed to give our users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.
We want to emphasize that not much is changing for the Instapaper product outside the new ownership. The product will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. We plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and the reading experience for the foreseeable future.
Playing the game of musical owners does not instill confidence about the stability or direction of the company (just about the only way it could be worse is if Yahoo bought it), which is why as a longtime user and avid fan, I hope this isn’t a bad sign for the future of Instapaper.
Instapaper isn’t just one of my core tools, it’s also my touchstone for legibility. I use it to judge a website’s designs by loading their articles into Instapaper, and then seeing whether the original is easier to read than the copy in Instapaper. (The majority of websites, including the much-lauded Medium, fail this test.)
If Instapaper fails we will all be the worse for it.