Mozilla Acquires Pocket

Posted on February 28, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, Mobile with 5 Comments

Mozilla Acquires Pocket

Mozilla Corporation announced last night that it has acquired Read It Later, which makes Pocket, which is billed as the world’s leading save-for-later service.

“Mozilla is doubling down on our mission to keep the internet healthy, as a global public resource that’s open and accessible to all,” Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer explains. “As our first strategic acquisition, Pocket contributes to our strategy by growing our mobile presence and providing people everywhere with powerful tools to discover and access high-quality web content, on their terms, independent of platform or content silo.”

As you may know, I use Pocket every day and recommend it highly: The service is incredible and is backed by excellent mobile apps which are available everywhere that matters and offer great, offline-capable reading experiences.

It’s not clear yet how well Mozilla and Pocket/Read It Later will mesh at a business level. But this link-up is apparently the result of work the two firms did to more closely integrate Pocket into Mozilla’s Firefox web browser. And on that level, the link-up does make sense: Mozilla touts the fact that Firefox is the only major web browser “built for people, not profit,” and as such it provides a level of freedom, as Mozilla says, not seen elsewhere. Part of that freedom means letting users do what they want, and to do so without any privacy concerns.

Regardless, the current plan will please Pocket fans: Mozilla intends to let the service continue on its current path, which involves making money by recommending sponsored content. Longer term, Mozilla says it will work to get Pocket to open source so the community can become more involved as well.

Pocket currently claims about 10 million active users and is popular on mobile, an area where Mozilla has struggled. But with Firefox steadily losing ground on the desktop as well, the firm needs to expand a bit, and Pocket is a (small) step towards a bit more diverse future.


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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Mozilla Acquires Pocket”

  1. Atoqir

    Hahaha. The service is incredible and is backed by excellent mobile apps which are available everywhere that matters.

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to Atoqir:

      The service is incredible, and it is backed by excellent mobile apps. In the case of Windows Phone, the best app is Poki. Just to be clear, for people who are not familiar with Pocket, they provide an open API and encourage developers to create independent apps and integrate the service as widely as possible.

    • NazmusLabs

      In reply to Atoqir:

      Everywhere that MATTERS. I think you forgot that Windows Phones don't Matter. And please don't dare call me an Apple or Google fanboy. That stuff is getting old and is completely inaccurate.

  2. jmeiii75

    "Mozilla intends to let the service continue on its current path"

    This is, to me, the most important part. While I do hope they continue to develop the server, which all signs seem to indicate will happen, I always have this fear that my favorite apps and will be shuttered when they are acquired. There are times, however, when this does happen (the app is shut down) and all is right in the end. I used to love Sunrise Calendar and was so miffed when Microsoft acquired and killed it. We all know now, that the features were added to Outlook Mobile, which is my app of choice for both email and calendars. I look forward to seeing what happens with Pocket.

  3. xperiencewindows

    Didn't Mozilla start bundling a Pocket add-on with new Firefox installs a few years back?