Pocket (service)

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Pocket
Pocket App Logo.png
Pocket web reader example.png
An example of an article being read in the website
Original author(s)Read it Later, Inc.
Developer(s)Mozilla Corporation
Initial release2007; 14 years ago (2007)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
PlatformAndroid, BlackBerry, iOS, Kindle Fire, Kobo, macOS, web browsers, Windows, and Windows Phones[1]
TypeOnline bookmarking, saving articles for later reading
LicenseFreemium
Websitegetpocket.com

Pocket, previously known as Read It Later, is an application and web service for managing a reading list of articles and videos from the Internet. Released in 2007, the application was originally only for desktop and laptop computers,[2] and is now available for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kobo eReaders, and web browsers.[3] Pocket was taken over by Mozilla, the developers of the Firefox web browser, in 2017.[4]

Functions[edit]

The application allows the user to save an article or web page to remote servers for later reading. The article is then sent to the user's Pocket list (synced to all of their devices) for offline reading. Pocket removes clutter from articles, and allows the user to add tags to their articles and to adjust text settings for easier reading.

History[edit]

Pocket was introduced in August 2007 as a Mozilla Firefox browser extension named Read It Later by Nathan (Nate) Weiner.[5] Once his product was used by millions of people, he moved his office to Silicon Valley and four other people joined the Read It Later team. Weiner's intention was to have the application be like a TiVo for web content and giving users access to that content on any device.[6]

Read It Later obtained venture capital investments of US$2.5 million in 2011[6] and $5.0 million in 2012. The 2011 funding came from Foundation Capital, Baseline Ventures, Google Ventures, Founder Collective and unnamed angel investors.[6] The company rejected an acquisition offer by Evernote after showing concerns that Evernote intended to shut down the Read It Later service and amalgamate its functionality into Evernote's main service.[7]

Initially the Read It Later app was available in a free version and a paid version that included additional features. After the rebranding to Pocket, all paid features were made available in a free and advertisement-free app. In May 2014, a paid subscription service called Pocket Premium was introduced, adding server-side storage of articles and more powerful search tools.[8]

In June 2015, Pocket integration was added as a default feature to the Mozilla Firefox web browser, via a toolbar button and link to a user's Pocket list in the bookmarks menu. The integration was controversial, as users displayed concerns for the direct integration of a proprietary service into an open source application, and that it could not be completely disabled without editing advanced settings, unlike third-party extensions.[9] A Mozilla spokesperson stated that the feature was meant to leverage the service's popularity among Firefox users and clarified that all code related to the integration was open source.[10][11] The spokesperson added that "[Mozilla had] gotten lots of positive feedback about the integration from users".[10]

On February 27, 2017, Pocket announced that it had been acquired by Mozilla Corporation, the commercial arm of Firefox's non-profit development group. Mozilla staff stated that Pocket would continue to operate as an independent subsidiary but that it would be leveraged as part of an ongoing "Context Graph" project.[7] There are plans to open-source the server-side code of Pocket,[12][13][14] but that has yet to materialize as of June 2020.

Userbase[edit]

The application had 17 million users[15] and 1 billion saves, as of September 2015.[16] Some applications, such as Flipboard, Google Currents, and Twitter use Pocket's API.[3] Pocket was listed among TIME's 50 Best Android Applications for 2013.[17]

Reception[edit]

Kent German of CNET said that "Read It Later is oh so incredibly useful for saving all the articles and news stories I find while commuting or waiting in line."[18] Erez Zukerman of PC World said that supporting the developer is enough reason to buy what he deemed a "handy app".[19] Bill Barol of Forbes said that although Read It Later works less well than Instapaper, "it makes my beloved Instapaper look and feel a little stodgy."[20]

In 2015, Pocket was awarded a Material Design Award for Adaptive Layout by Google for their Android application.[21][22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pocket Applications". getpocket.com. Archived from the original on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  2. ^ Nagappan, Ramu (June 11, 2010). "Read It Later app now available for iPad". Macworld. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Pocket Operating System Compatibility". getpocket.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  4. ^ Denelle Dixon (2017-02-27). "Mozilla Acquires Pocket". The Mozilla Blog. Archived from the original on 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  5. ^ Weiner, Nate, Read it Later—Firefox Extension, archived from the original on 2012-02-16, retrieved 2015-07-17
  6. ^ a b c Kincaid, Jason (July 26, 2011). "Read It Later Raises $2.5 Million, Wants To Become The Dropbox Of Content". Techcrunch. Archived from the original on November 26, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Newton, Casey (27 February 2017). "Mozilla acquires Pocket to gain a foothold on mobile devices". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  8. ^ Introducing Pocket Premium, Read It Later Inc., May 28, 2014, archived from the original on February 14, 2015, retrieved January 19, 2015
  9. ^ "Hacker News". ycombinator.com. Archived from the original on August 6, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Protalinski, Emil (June 9, 2015). "Mozilla responds to Firefox user backlash over Pocket integration". venturebeat. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  11. ^ "Mozilla has 'no plans' to offer Firefox without Pocket". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Mozilla acquires read-it-later app Pocket, will open-source the code". VentureBeat. 2017-02-27. Archived from the original on 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  13. ^ Downer, Tyler (2017-10-21). "Mozilla, Pocket and open-source". Reddit. Archived from the original on 2017-12-26. Retrieved 2018-09-23. we have plans to make it entirely open source
  14. ^ "Mozilla Acquires Pocket – The Mozilla Blog". The Mozilla Blog. Archived from the original on 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  15. ^ "Pocket built a save button for the internet — what's next?". The Verge. September 8, 2015. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "1 Billion Saves to Pocket!". Read It Later Inc. May 15, 2014. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  17. ^ Newman, Jared (July 1, 2013). "50 Best Android Apps for 2013". TIME. Archived from the original on July 4, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  18. ^ German, Kent (July 11, 2011). "Kent's 10 favorite Android apps (CNET 100)". CNET. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  19. ^ Zukerman, Erez. "Read It Later Pro". PC World. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  20. ^ Barol, Bill (December 16, 2010). "Instapaper vs. Read It Later: The power of pretty". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 14, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  21. ^ Fulcher, Rich (2015). "Material Design Awards". Google Design. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  22. ^ Raphael, J. R. (May 29, 2015). "Material Design, 1 year later: How Pocket and Pocket Casts conquered Google's vision". Computerworld. Archived from the original on October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.

External links[edit]