Pocket (service)

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Pocket
Pocket App Logo.png
Original author(s) Read it Later, Inc.
Developer(s) Mozilla Corporation
Initial release 2007; 10 years ago (2007)
Platform OS X, Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire, Kobo, web browser[1]
Type Online bookmarking, saving articles for later reading
License Freemium
Alexa rank 622 (as of February 2017)[2]
Website getpocket.com

Pocket, previously known as Read It Later, is an application and service for managing a reading list of articles from the Internet. It is available for OS X, Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kobo eReaders, and web browsers.[3] The application was originally intended only for desktop computers.[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 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. Four other people then 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 and an additional $5.0 million in 2012. In addition to some unnamed angel investors, funds came from Foundation Capital, Baseline Ventures, Google Ventures, and Founder Collective.[6] The company rejected an acquisition offer by Evernote after showing concerns that it intended to shut down the service and amalgamate its functionality into its main service.[7]

Initially a free and a paid version - including additional features - of the Read It Later app were available. 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]

Userbase[edit]

The application has 17 million users[12] and 1 billion saves (both as of September 2015).[13] Some applications, such as Twitter, Flipboard, and Google Currents use Pocket's API.[3] Pocket was listed among Time's 50 Best Android Applications for 2013.[14]

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."[15] Erez Zukerman of PC World said that supporting the developer is enough reason to buy what he deemed a "handy app".[16] Bill Barol of Forbes said that although Read It Later works less well than Instapaper, he said that "it makes my beloved Instapaper look and feel a little stodgy."[17]

In 2015, Pocket was awarded a Material Design Award for Adaptive Layout by Google for their Android application.[18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]