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.