Instapaper is a paid app that lets you save web articles to read later, this is especially useful when you are away from wifi or when your 3G connection gets a bit sketchy. The app has a small crowd of devoted users how swear by this app and they use it multiple times per day.
Instapaper has now been bought by New York bases the hybrid investor/ incubator/ holding company Betaworks, just last year the company acquired the social news site Digg.com and shortly after relaunched it hoping to bring back some of the lost users. So it looks like the company is in good hands for the time being.
Words from the Creator and Betaworks CEO
In an email written by John Borthwick CEO and founder of Betaworks said “Starting 14 months ago I began to move Betaworks into being an operating company, In our first three years we were a factory for building companies, we built them and spun them out, hired CEO’s and got other people to fund them. 14 months ago I paid our investors all their money back and started making the shift to operating company.”
The creator of Instapaper Macro Arment wrote in a blog post on his personal blog, explaining how the sale is not a total buy out; Betaworks will only take a majority stake in the app and not buy the thing outright. Arment added “To really shine, it needs a full-time staff of at least a few people, but I wouldn’t be very good at hiring and leading a staff, and after more than five years, I’d like an opportunity to try other apps and creative projects.”
Betaworks has been building around the social reading and discovery market and with the acquisition of Instapaper they are adding more tools for saving and sharing news that’s important to the reader. Brothwick wrote that Instapaper would be a “perfect fit” along side Digg and its new Digg reader, which they hope will fill the gap that Google reader left.
Apple Enters the Fray
Apple entered onto Instapaper’s home turf two years ago when they added the reading list feature to Safari on iPhone and iPad; reading list allows users to save pages s they can read them later. This new Safari feature then made the decision for user who want to read webpages later $3.99 cheaper.
Even Instapapers creator Arment new that the addition of reading list spelt disaster for the app; he tweeted “Shit” after Apple announced reading list at WWDC 2011 – this conference turned out to be founder Steve Jobs’ last conference.
Digg seems to have benefitted from a change of ownership, in fact the social news site seems to have grown 93 percent over the last year since being relauched by Betaworks. Maybe Betaworks will work their magic on Instapaper if they decide to change the app in anyway and then relaunch it.
Source – TechCrunch