Following the acquisition, both companies will be in a better position to serve their customers as they share the same mission
Instapaper announced on its blog that the company is joining Pinterest. The company realizes that its own services and core mission overlap with that of Pinterest as both want to help users discover and save content they find interesting on the Internet. The company believes it can better achieve its aim on a much larger scale through the acquisition.
Instapaper app was previously owned by Marco Arment, and was acquired by Instapaper three years ago. Instapaper has since rewritten its code and overhauled its clients and mobile service. The app has also introduced features such as speed reading, highlights, text-to-speech, and improved parsing and search.
The app will be integrated into Pinterest’s discovery products, while the company’s parsing (analysing strings/text into logical syntactic components) will be used for some Rich Pin types on Pinterest. Instapaper’s Instaparser developer product will be retired to allow the company to focus on user experience. Existing customers will not be billed anymore, while new signups will be discontinued. Existing users have until November 1 of this year before the service is pulled completely.
Instapaper app will still be available on its own, allowing users to bookmark their favorite things. Pinterest has also acquired other teams behind apps such as Shorts and Highlight, but it has not always discontinued the original apps. Interestingly enough, Pinterest launched almost two years after Instapaper, which was particularly popular on the iPhone, according to TechCrunch. Instapaper ranked highly in the news segment of Apple’s App Store. The app, which started as a paid service, eventually shifted to the freemium model employed by most other apps, amidst increased competition.
The app has not been quite effective lately, hence the acquisition by Pinterest. The company is hiring a team that can potentially reimagine the site’s entire product from an outsider’s perspective to boost user engagement. The Instapaper team gets to work with a relatively successful company, which is working on a more well-known social media platform.
Pinterest, of course will want to boost its services by offering more. The company recently added native videos to its platform to boost revenue from native ads in the future. TechCrunch said that users tend to skim videos instead of watching them thoroughly, which made sense as Pinterest was created for the very purpose of saving content to be viewed later. The company is perhaps now hoping that the acquisition of the Instapaper team will lead to a new influx of ideas that will boost user engagement.
In short, Pinterest obviously did not make an acquisition unless it had something to gain from it. The company is mainly hoping to increase number of users and the amount of time they spend on its website/app, which will lead to more revenue. This seems to be the mantra of almost every app-maker, who launches something new.
It is unlikely that the app will reach the levels of Facebook and Twitter, as the social media giants command a considerable presence in the social network industry. Facebook allows users to save posts that they can review later, similar to Pinterest and Instapaper’s offerings. Twitter posts are ironically screen-shotted and shared on Pinterest at times. That said, there are always niches that small apps can fill. If Pinterest can stumble on something innovative because of Instapaper's acquisition, it will always have a chance.