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Mozilla Acquires Pocket
We are excited to announce that the Mozilla Corporation has completed the acquisition of Read It Later, Inc. the developers of Pocket.
Mozilla is growing, experimenting more, and doubling down on our mission to keep the internet healthy, as a global public resource that’s open and accessible to all. 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.
Pocket will join Mozilla’s product portfolio as a new product line alongside the Firefox web browsers with a focus on promoting the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content. Pocket’s core team and technology will also accelerate Mozilla’s broader Context Graph initiative.
Pocket brings to Mozilla a successful human-powered content recommendation system with 10 million unique monthly active users on iOS, Android and the Web, and with more than 3 billion pieces of content saved to date.
As a result of this strategic acquisition, Pocket will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Mozilla Corporation and will become part of the Mozilla open source project.
I don't use Pocket because it's closed-source....er, was closed source. I think this is a great use of Mozilla's money, and hopefully a sign that they're getting back on track. They've launched so many projects (firefox OS being the most painful one, imho) that end up getting killed off, I was beginning to wonder if they were just going to keep squandering their talent and brand til they themselves got killed off. Investing in some proven technology and making it open source is a great idea, and actually adds value to their flagship product: the Firefox browser.
I guess there was an open source version of Pocket that mozilla could have supported, instead, but somehow I kinda like the notion that open source can sometimes throw money at something to bring it into "compliance" the way the big proprietary companies do. That's petty of me, but the bottom line remains: a big chunk of open code. I can't complain.
I've been using Pocket for years. In fact I started using it back when it was called Read it Later browser extension, and I think it's great news that Mozilla bought it and will become an open source project.
It's basically bookmarks, and you can do the usual bookmark things. You can tag things, which I've never done. But you can't put things into sub-folders, which is how I organized my bookmarks in the first place. Okay, I guess I get to do it the other way around from now on.
I imported my constellation of bookmarks from Firefox. I'm glad that worked fine. Looks like it collapsed my folders into tags, and I'm okay with that, as I wrote above.
There's also a set of 'recommended' articles that don't appear to be connected with my two current Pocket things. And they refresh, so it's a feed of some sort. That's weird.
And then there's 'explore', which seems like more news feeds. I bet that's a great way to keep people glued to the pocket site. None of the articles seem abhorrent, so that's a plus.
The bottom line is that I'm lukewarm over Pocket.
On one hand, I like the new layout and it's nice to have an update to the UI for twiddling with bookmarks. The old UI is fiddly as all heck and hasn't made sense in quite some time.
On the other, I already had 60% of this functionality without the weird news parts. I also had the ability search through my bookmarks by simply typing into the URL bar. Maybe that functionality is yet to come, but it's half of why I bother with bookmarks in the first place.
I'll keep trying to use it for a while and see if my feelings change.
Edit: I just realized that clicking on a bookmark in the pocket page that's recognized as an 'article' will reformat with their custom styling. Sometimes this alters the page in weird ways, like removing links to other pages. That's not very thrilling...