Instapaper Unpins Itself From Pinterest, Becomes Separate Company Again

The latter acquired the former in August 2016

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Some acquisitions turn out to be successful, and for others, there’s always the “undo” button (or in this case, the “unpin” button).

Instapaper announced Monday that control over its application was being transferred from Pinterest to a new company owned and operated by the Instapaper team, Instant Paper, following a 21-day waiting period.

Pinterest acquired Instapaper in August 2016, allowing the app to remain as a stand-alone app and saying at the time, “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.”

The Instaparser developer product was shuttered Nov. 1 of that year, and that same day, Pinterest announced that Instapaper Premium was available to all users free-of-charge.

Instapaper said in a blog post announcing the move, “We want to emphasize that not much is changing for the Instapaper product outside of the new ownership. The product will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. We plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and the reading experience for the foreseeable future.”

As for its soon-to-be-former parent company, the Instapaper team added, “We want to express our deepest gratitude to Pinterest for being such great stewards of the product over the past two years. With their support, we rebuilt search, introduced an extension for Firefox, made a variety of optimizations for the latest mobile operating systems and more. Our focus is providing a great reading application to our users. We appreciated the opportunity to do that at Pinterest, and we are excited to continue our work.”

Part of that work involves compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which is coming soon, according to a tweet from @InstapaperHelp.


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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