Instapaper sells majority share to Betaworks, app service to continue

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
It was announced on Thursday that Popular web page saving and syncing app Instapaper has been acquired by Betaworks, the same firm that purchased Digg in 2012.

Instapaper
Source: Betaworks


Creator of Instapaper, Marco Arment, posted the news on his personal blog, saying the product has "grown far beyond what one person can do." Under the deal, Betaworks will reportedly take over app development and operations.

"To really shine, it needs a full-time staff of at least a few people," Arment said. "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."

He went on to say Betaworks was the right firm to take over, and the deal will ensure the "health and longevity" of Instapaper moving forward. Arment didn't sell to a larger company for fear that his creation would be dismantled shortly after being acquired.

?The deal had a lot more to do with Instapaper itself than the competition, honestly,? Arment told The Next Web. ?I?ve been having a lot of trouble just keeping the product fresh, functional, and up-to-date for my existing customers.?

Instapaper was first introduced in 2008 as a Web app, which quickly expanded to include a one-click bookmarklet, a Web sync service, adjustable text views and an iPhone app with assets for offline reading.

Arment said the deal will allow him to focus on building other apps and "creative projects."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member

    I hope that Betaworks will prove itself to be able to really bring the product forward. I, like many people, moved to Pocket quite some time ago, despite my general respect for Mr. Arment. They were moving forward much faster than he could (and I do not mean that as any kind of blame).

    I think he deserves some credit for changing his tune for the benefit of his service. Blaming Pocket / Read it Later for copying his ideas was understandable, but destined to go nowhere. I am not using a Kodak or Exakta SLR, just because they were on the market first, either.

    Looking forward for whatever he will be coming up with next. And there's hope it will be better thought out than "The Magazine". While the content is sometimes great, an app that forces me to subscribe to something to be able to test it, and does not give me access to previously purchased content once I cancel my subscription... is clearly not. Arment is able to produce some great stuff, but a Steve Jobs, able to deliver what people want without them even knowing they want it... he is clearly not. But then, who is?
  • Reply 2 of 6
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    A lot of people dislike Arment. He's a bit of a cocky little shit. He's got some chops though.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    dreyfus2 wrote: »
    I hope that Betaworks will prove itself to be able to really bring the product forward. I, like many people, moved to Pocket quite some time ago, despite my general respect for Mr. Arment. They were moving forward much faster than he could (and I do not mean that as any kind of blame).

    I think he deserves some credit for changing his tune for the benefit of his service. Blaming Pocket / Read it Later for copying his ideas was understandable, but destined to go nowhere. I am not using a Kodak or Exakta SLR, just because they were on the market first, either.

    Looking forward for whatever he will be coming up with next. And there's hope it will be better thought out than "The Magazine". While the content is sometimes great, an app that forces me to subscribe to something to be able to test it, and does not give me access to previously purchased content once I cancel my subscription... is clearly not. Arment is able to produce some great stuff, but a Steve Jobs, able to deliver what people want without them even knowing they want it... he is clearly not. But then, who is?

    The best thing he has done is not Instapaper, preview.fm, or The Magazine. The best thing he has been involved in is Tumblr. Tumblr is amazing; everything about the service, and the iOS apps are some of the best apps on the whole iOS platform IMO.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Smart decision. These services are now a commodity and Pocket's bigger staff allows them to iterate faster. Marco needs to get paid while the going is good and move on to the next thing IMO.

  • Reply 5 of 6
    macmadmacmad Posts: 62member


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

    And there's hope it will be better thought out than "The Magazine". While the content is sometimes great, an app that forces me to subscribe to something to be able to test it, and does not give me access to previously purchased content once I cancel my subscription... is clearly not. 


     


    Is this actually the case? If you purchase The Magazine, you do so with an account with Apple, so if you stopped subscribing and later subscribed again, wouldn't it recognize some back issues as being 'previously purchased' items?

  • Reply 6 of 6
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacMad View Post




     


    Is this actually the case? If you purchase The Magazine, you do so with an account with Apple, so if you stopped subscribing and later subscribed again, wouldn't it recognize some back issues as being 'previously purchased' items?




     


    That's not an issue, as all active subscriptions do have access to all back issues anyhow.

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