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Pocket, previously known as Read It Later, is a social bookmarking service for storing, sharing, and
discovering web bookmarks. Released in 2007, the service was originally only for desktop and
laptop computers, and is now available for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone,
BlackBerry, Kobo eReaders, and web browsers.
Pocket was introduced in August 2007 as a Mozilla Firefox browser extension named Read It Later
by Nathan (Nate) Weiner. Once his product was used by millions of people, he moved his office to
Silicon Valley and four other people joined the Read It Later team. Weiner's intention was to have
the application be like a TiVo for web content and give users access to that content on any device.
Read It Later obtained venture capital investments of US$2.5 million in 2011and $5.0 million in 2012.
The 2011 funding came from Foundation Capital, Baseline Ventures, Google Ventures, Founder
Collective, and unnamed angel investors. The company rejected an acquisition offer by Evernote
after showing concerns that Evernote intended to shut down the Read It Later service and
amalgamate its functionality into Evernote's main service.
Initially, the Read It Later app was available in a free version and a paid version that included
additional features. After the rebranding to Pocket, all paid features were made available in a free
and advertisement-free app. In May 2014, a paid subscription service called Pocket Premium was
introduced, adding server-side storage of articles and more powerful search tools.
In June 2015, Pocket integration was added as a default feature to the Mozilla Firefox web browser,
via a toolbar button and link to a user's Pocket list in the bookmarks menu. The integration was
controversial, as users displayed concerns for the direct integration of a proprietary service into an
open-source application, and that it could not be completely disabled without editing advanced
settings, unlike third-party extensions. A Mozilla spokesperson stated that the feature was meant to
leverage the service's popularity among Firefox users and clarified that all code related to the
integration was open source. The spokesperson added that "[Mozilla had] gotten lots of positive
feedback about the integration from users".
On February 27, 2017, Pocket announced that it had been acquired by Mozilla Corporation, the
commercial arm of Firefox's non-profit development group. Mozilla staff stated that Pocket would
continue to operate as an independent subsidiary but that it would be leveraged as part of an
ongoing "Context Graph" project. There are plans to open-source the server-side code of Pocket, but
that has yet to materialize as of December 2021.
The application allows the user to save an article or web page to remote servers for later reading.
The article is then sent to the user's Pocket list (synced to all of their devices) for offline reading.
Pocket removes clutter from articles and allows the user to add tags to their articles and to adjust
text settings for easier reading.
The application had 17 million users and 1 billion saves, as of September 2015. Some applications,
such as Flipboard, Google Currents, and Twitter use Pocket's API. Pocket was listed among TIME's
50 Best Android Applications for 2013.
Kent German of CNET said that "Read It Later is oh so incredibly useful for saving all the articles
and news stories I find while commuting or waiting in line." Erez Zukerman of PC World said that
supporting the developer is enough reason to buy what he deemed a "handy app". Bill Barol of
Forbes said that although Read It Later works less well than Instapaper, "it makes my beloved
Instapaper look and feel a little stodgy."
In 2015, Pocket was awarded a Material Design Award for Adaptive Layout by Google for their