Skip to main content

What goes on behind the curtain of popular read-it-later app Pocket

goes behind curtain popular read later app pocket
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s simply too much on the Internet, and in order to even consume a fraction of it, we need help. That’s where Pocket comes in. The little app, formerly known as ReadItLater, helps us out by letting us save URLs for another time when we can get to them.

It’s become a Web staple, helping those of us who spend altogether too much time online manage the many things we come across without losing them, or trying to back-button or Google in vain. In order to be a good Web reader these days, you need something that functions like Pocket, and with its simple browser extension and eye-pleasing desktop and mobile UI, it’s become an incredibly popular tool.

But behind all the simplicity of clicking, saving, reading, what are the grinding gears behind Pocket actually doing? Pocket CEO Nate Weiner recently sat down with Fast Company and revealed a few things about the app that give an inside look at the surprisingly complex operation. Here are some of the highlights:

  • A million and a half pieces are saved to Pocket each day. 
  • The most saved domains are the Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. 
  • Weiner says a recently popular article stayed active – being read and shared – inside Pocket for 37 days. 
  • Most items saved to pocket are blog posts, BuzzFeed listicles, Twitter links, etc; about 13 percent are longform stories – but the engagement (being opened, read, shared, favorited) around these articles is much higher. 
  • Pocket can tell which writers are very popular, and has even launched a publisher program to help writers see the “save for later” data circling around their stories.

As Pocket (and other read it later services) are proving, online content doesn’t have to live and die by the click. There’s an entire ecosystem of information proving articles live on … just proving once again, that nothing on the Internet ever truly dies.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
X CEO reveals video calls are coming to the app formerly known as Twitter
The new X sign replacing the Twitter logo on the company's headquarters in San Francisco.

X, formerly Twitter, is to get video calling as part of ongoing efforts to turn the platform into a so-called “everything app” offering a broad range of services.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino announced the news during an interview with CNBC on Thursday.

Read more
How to download Instagram photos (5 easy ways)
Instagram app running on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Instagram is amazing, and many of us use it as a record of our lives — uploading the best bits of our trips, adventures, and notable moments. But sometimes you can lose the original files of those moments, leaving the Instagram copy as the only available one . While you may be happy to leave it up there, it's a lot more convenient to have another version of it downloaded onto your phone or computer. While downloading directly from Instagram can be tricky, there are ways around it. Here are a few easy ways to download Instagram photos.

Read more
X seems to have deleted years of old Twitter images
The new X sign replacing the Twitter logo on the company's headquarters in San Francisco.

The social media platform formerly known as Twitter and recently rebranded as X appears to be having trouble showing images posted on the site between 2011 and 2014.

The issue came to widespread attention on Saturday when X user Tom Coates noted how the famous selfie posted by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars in 2014, which quickly broke the “most retweets” record, was no longer displaying. Later reports suggested the image had been restored, though, at the time of writing, we’re not seeing it.

Read more