Pinterest will keep Instapaper as a standalone app.
Pinterest has acquired Instapaper, an app that lets users save articles from across the web to read at a later time. Pinterest says it’ll keep Instapaper, which was owned primarily by the startup incubator Betaworks, as a standalone app.
Instapaper was launched in 2008 by Tumblr co-founder Marco Arment, who later sold a majority stake in the company to Betaworks in 2013. It’s now run by CEO Brian Donohue, who is joining Pinterest as a product engineer as part of the deal. Pinterest declined to comment on deal terms.
It’s easy to see why Pinterest has an interest in Instapaper. Pinterest is a service for saving (mostly) images from around the web. Instapaper does the same thing, but for articles.
We asked Pinterest how it plans to integrate the Instapaper team, and a company spokesperson sent us this statement:
It’s still early, but we’re exploring how the team’s expertise with dynamic content can be used to power some types of Rich Pins. In addition, Instapaper uses content signals to determine the most popular content and power features like Popular Sort, Instapaper Daily (the top article of the day) and Instapaper Weekly (a weekly digest of the top articles of the week), and this technology could further improve the way we index and recommend fresh and evergreen content on Pinterest.
In other words, Pinterest seems interested in Instapaper’s recommendation algorithm as a way to surface relevant Pins to its users. Pinterest likes to describe itself as a discovery platform, but discovering content clearly doesn’t have to happen organically. Facebook and Twitter surface content via algorithms, too.
Two of Instapaper’s three employees will join Pinterest and move from New York to the company’s San Francisco headquarters. Pinterest has been very active on the acquisition front lately; Instapaper is the company’s eighth acquisition in the past year, although many of those purchases have been “acqhires,” meaning Pinterest is simply paying for employees, not technology.
Instapaper is still available on iOS and the iPad, and Android.