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Readability is Shutting Down Its Bookmarking Service Because No One is Using It

5584753106_db56d98926_bWhen it comes to saving web content for later use, the most commonly used services are Instapaper and Pocket (and for the hardcore, Pinboard) but not, apparently, Readability.

No one was using Readability to save pages so they can be read later, and that is why the developers announced on Monday that they are shutting down the service.

The team behind Readability sent out an email to developers, and published a blog post for users, with the news that the bookmarking service will be turned off at the end of this month. Fortunately, the other half of Readability will continue to function:

We’re writing you because you have requested and used an API key for

First, the Readability Reader API, which saves bookmark information for reading later, and which almost no one uses, will be shut down at the end of September.

Second, the vastly more popular Readability Parser API, which extracts article content from web pages, will continue to run and will improve.

What if I’m one of the handful of developers using the Readability Reader API to save bookmarks?

If you’re a user of the Readability Reader API, that API will be shut off, along with the end-user bookmarking service, on September 30, 2016. If you’ve made available or built any sort of Read Later functionality to Readability, it will no longer work after that date. We plan to notify all active end users of the Readability service in the coming days as well.

The blog post can be found on Medium (yep, Readability no longer even maintains its own blog any more) and says basically the same thing.

As noted in the excerpt above, the second half of Readability’s service, the Parser API, will continue to be supported.

This is good news because the Parser is the part of Readability that stripped out the adverts and other extraneous info, leaving a webpage which was easier to read. It’s used in a bunchaton of apps, including several on my laptop.

If that had been turned off then I would be scrambling for replacements.

Thanks, Michael for the tip!

image by Wiertz Sébastien

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Andy September 3, 2016 um 11:57 am

Nobody uses the bookmark / save for later feature because it hasn’t been updated in years. That’s why. I’m surprised to hear the developers are even still around.

I remember using Readability and liking it years ago – but Pocket and Instapaper have continued to innovate.

Szymon September 22, 2016 um 3:57 pm

Hey…I’ve been using this feature save to read later ;( so at least 1 person was doing it 🙂

Iscar Kazanlak October 1, 2016 um 7:25 am

Readability works PERFECTLY when paired up with Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve just tried Instapaper with the intention of using it as a replacement for Readability once Readability shuts down, and all I can say is – it SUCKS big time. Readability, you will be sorely missed!

Jing October 4, 2016 um 6:43 pm

I’m also using it and I really like it. "NO ONE IS USING iT"?!

Michael Schultze November 4, 2016 um 1:54 pm

Oh no. My favorite read it later service with my georgeous reading list has gone!
I didn’t noticed the farewell since the browser plugin and the app still works great.
How can I export my archived bookmarks to all that nice articles now?

Jeffrey December 7, 2016 um 8:45 pm

Unfortunately the parser has closed as well, as I discovered to my chagrin this evening. I’d read the notice that the 'save for later' functionality would be closed. Since it stated the parser would continue to be supported, I thought all was right with the world, being one of those who just saves everything to Kindle so I can annotate and highlight. This was Readability’s killer feature, one that Pocket either doesn’t have the desire or resources to provide. I’ve been looking, but I still haven’t found another service that can forward cleanly formatted website content to Kindle with a couple clicks.

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