Betaworks Acquires Instapaper, Enhancements Are Expected To Continue

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Katie Ingram avatar

New media company, Betaworks has announced that it has acquired Instapaper, a read-it-later platform.

The “Next Generation”

According to a blog post from Instapaper founder Marco Arment, Instapaper, which was founded in 2008 as a basic web application, has grown into a multi-tooled product that includes offline saving, a bookmarklet tool and a web sync service.  But as a company grows so does the need to have a staff which is able to build on the product's current capabilities.

For the last five years, Arment has mostly been a one-person operation and while a solution would be to hire more employees, he says that he'd rather move onto new projects and give Instapaper to a company that can develop it properly.

Instapaper needs a new home where it can be staffed and grown, but I didn't want to give it to a big company that would probably just shut it down in six months," he said.

This is why he chose Betaworks, who just last year acquired Digg, a social sharing tool. According to Arment, through a company like Betaworks, Instapaper will have the chance to flourish.

With Betaworks’ drive and resources now behind it, I'm confident that Instapaper has a very bright future,” he said.


While terms of the acquisition and the Betaworks plans for Instapaper have not been released, Arment says he will stay on as an advisor. He also recently spoke with PaidContent about the acquisition and said that he hopes that any new features added to the app will reflect its simplicity.

Learning Opportunities

I want to have a fresh new design on the app, new sidebars…so many things I got partially through or didn’t have the time to start,” he said during the PaidContent interview. “The service has always been about doing the basics really well, not about having a million different features."

Mobile apps that are currently available from Instapaper include iOS and Android versions and Stacks for Instapaper, an app for Windows Phone and Windows 8 users.

Instapaper isn't the only reading tool available. Similar applications include Readability and Pocket, which recently added social sharing capabilities.

Betaworks: An Overview

Marketed as a “company that builds companies” Betaworks is a business that is designed to improve the “social web.” In addition to their acquisitions of Instapaper and Digg, they are also the parent company of other products such as URL shortener bitly, animated GIF tool Giphy and Socialflow a Twitter engagement tool.