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Pinterest Acquires This Popular ‘Save It for Later’ App

August 23, 2016, 5:00 PM UTC
Courtesy of Pinterest

Pinterest’s acquisition spree continues, this time with Instapaper, a service for saving articles and other reading items for later.

On Tuesday, Pinterest, whose online service is best known as a way to collect images of food and home decor, said it has acquired Instapaper’s team and technology. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Instapaper’s team will continue to operate the service as a standalone app while it also works on Pinterest’s own service, the company said.

Founded in 2008 by web developer and writer Marco Arment, Instapaper’s mobile apps let users “save for later” news articles, blog posts, and other items they want to read later. While mostly free, Instapaper generates revenue through premium features such as the ability to search through all saved articles, for $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. Originally, its apps were paid. It has a few direct competitors, most notably Pocket.

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In 2013, Arment sold a controlling stake to Betaworks, a New York City-based investment firm and incubator for young startups, and has stepped away from day-to-day operations, though he said at the time that he’ll remain as an advisor.

Pinterest says the acquisition is a natural fit because of the two companies’ shared focus on helping users collect and save content online. What’s more, the company says that its users commonly save articles, such as how-to features and other lifestyle articles.

See also: Pinterest Starts to Roll Out Video Ads

“The Instapaper team are experts in saving, curating, and analyzing articles, and they’re a welcome addition to Pinterest,” said Pinterest lead product manager Steve Davis in a statement. “Instapaper will work with us to continue building indexing and recommendations technologies, and we look forward to building great products together.”

Instapaper is only the latest acquisition by Pinterest, though most have been so-called “aqui-hires,” a tech industry term for acquisitions done as a way to hire a company’s team without interest in its previous product.

So far in 2016, it has acquired five other startups, according to investing data company Pitchbook. These include Highlight, a social media app best known for briefly attracting buzz at annual tech festival South by Southwest in 2012, and URX, a startup whose technology lets mobile apps display ads that link directly to ticket purchase sites or items for purchase through a different app.


Founded in 2010 as an online service for collecting images, Pinterest has since branched into building image search technology, releasing a mobile app, and beginning to generate revenue through advertising and e-commerce. Last fall, it reached the 100 million monthly active user mark.