Read It Later – The Instapaper Way

At the end of 2010 the web and its users when ballistic over the leaked internal document hinting that Yahoo plans to close down Delicious (the bookmarks social network). Immediately tons of blog posts and tweets came out with resources on how and with what to replace the most popular bookmarking site. However, my post is not going to be about that, but rather reviewing my favorite online app in 2010 –  Instapaper. Which is not so much of a bookmarking tool, but it adds a bit different perspective and value.

Instapaper is “a simple tool to save web pages for reading later”. PERIOD! This neat app allows you to take a look later at pages, articles and blog posts you saved.

It was founded by Marco Arment in 2008 and by 2010 it had almost 1 million registered users. What makes it great is the fact that it strips off any unnecessary info from the page you saved (advertisement, graphical material etc.) and serves you only the text and the relevant graphics. Besides that it give you an option to read on the go through their iPhone and iPad apps, Kindle and epub optimized export function or simply as printed version.  It is also compatible with Google Reader and NetNewsWire (only for Mac), so as you see your saves can be fed to your RSS reader. And to that, I have to add that Instapaper’s API made it possible to be compatible with other over 130 iPhone and iPad apps.

The app is generally free. There is also a paid version and it costs… wait for it… 1 USD/month. I highly doubt this hurting your pocket. The only problem I see with this price is the fact that one is not that sure what more than the free version could he/she be getting. But I guess this will change in the near future when more features are introduced.

Now, see bellow for yourself some of the app screen shots provided by Instapaper and the user interface!

I love this app, so I will take the liberty to get write down some suggestions on future features:

Image source: Instapaper

  • Corporate accounts that will allow the team to go through shared saved pages, articles and blogs. This can enhance the organizational learning and can particularly useful in the cases where someone is assigned to educate its colleagues about certain topic within his/her expertise.
  • A “Share” function that will allow users to send recommended readings to their social graph on Instapaper’s platform or other social networks, for that matter.
  • Android and RIM app. iPhone and iPad are great, but not everyone uses them.
  • More user friendly “Read later” button for blogs. The current one available here is an iFrame and for some website this causes a problem.
  • On site social media optimization allowing me to share the articles or blog posts I find interesting right from the Instapaper platform.

All in all, this is the best web app I encountered in 2010. And I am actually sorry I did not stumble upon it earlier. If you spend as much time online as I do, I bet you would love it, too!

Do you use Instapaper? What is your take on this web app? Please share you opinion in the comment section below!

Image source: Instapaper

Copyright © 2011 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.