Brian from Instapaper here. There seem to be a number of comments expressing concerns about the acquisition, and I wanted to just jump in and offer to answer any questions you have about the acquisition.
Based on the comments I've read below the main concerns seem to be that Instapaper will either be shutdown or materially changed in a way that effects the end-user experience. I can tell you that neither of those are the plan for the short-term or long-term of the product, and I am personally looking forward to providing you with the same great service under a new owner.
As a person who has been part of a small company / start-up acquisition 2 times now this is literally the line every single CEO says when they're bought. Now I'm not saying you're lying but plans change and except for very, very few exceptions this is always wrong.
Congratulations either way and I wish you luck!
(I was part of one of these acquisitions and thankfully our founder made no such promises, and instead told us "nothing is going to change right now, but I can't tell you what the future holds for us")
It's like man, you're VP of the Instapaper division now. And you're going to keep your head above the water a lot better if you know it, compared to imagining you're someone you are not.
One of the most dangerous things about acquisitions is losing the "magic touch" that the original team had... requiring a cross-country move is not the best way to retain your talent.
2/3 of the staff members are moving to San Francisco. We all agreed to it before making the decision, no hands were forced.
Also, big fan of your writing. Want to grab a coffee or beer now that I'm in SF?
- Has there been any consulting with Marco about this acquisition? It being his brainchild.
- The blog post mentions some concrete ways on how your Instapaper mad skills can/will be used to make Pinterest more useful. In what concrete ways will Instapaper be made more useful and/or stable because of Pinterest?
Myself, I'm concerned. I've found Pinterest to be user-hostile in a way that seems opposite to the Instapaper philosophy: it's naggy (notification-wise for starters) and aimed at hooking me into their ecosystem. It's in-your-face instead of hands-off.
Edit: added a question, and also I'd be remiss not to use this opportunity to thank you for the great service! It's the only 'bookmarking' service I use, after many years of trying many sorts.
However, I do not care for Pinterest at all. I have created and later deleted several accounts just to give it a fair shake, but it doesn't hold a candle to Tumblr. Also the forced sign up is user antagonistic, and the source of much enmity from people who I've heard speak about it. So fine, clearly me and people like me are not the intended audience, but what does this mean for Instapaper?
I have a hard time seeing how these two services are in any way related; not by content, audience, business model, or features. I do not see the missing part of one in the other. I see two communities that appear to a casual observer to be oil and water, and I am concerned that Instapaper will move towards it's opposite.
Can you speak to these concerns, or suggest some ideas on how Pinterest might improve Instapaper for users?
I'll reiterate here that Instapaper will remain as a separate app, with separate functionality, and a focus on the reader. There are no short-term or long-term plans to modify the user experience of Instapaper.
In the blog post we detail that "Instapaper provides a compelling source for news-based content" for Pinterest, and that portions of the parser technology will be used throughout Pinterest.
For Instapaper, it means leveraging the technical expertise, support, and resources at Pinterest.
For what it's worth, Pocket also has text-to-speech article reading.
First off congratulations on making a huge business decision like this - I'm sure it's not easy. And secondly thank you for putting yourself out here like this for us to talk to.
I rely on Instapaper every day to keep track of the reading that fuels my writing. I love that it's an awesome reading experience, that it syncs so well between devices, that it's keeping an archive of what I've read, and that it's so easy to share out to other apps and services.
I suppose I'm most worried that the experience that I - and many other users - have come to know and love will change, even in small ways. I'm imagining a reading UI with a little "save to pinterest" logo at the top and shuddering. Or some frankensteins' monster of a pinterest-board for my reading queue. Or being unable to share links or quotes to apps other than Pinterest.
I know you've said the team has no plans to make those sorts of changes to the product and user-experience, but how do you as a team know that you'll have that choice under the new ownership?
Either way, I'll be sticking around as a premium user for as long as I can. The app has brought me a lot of joy over the years, and I'm not feeling eager at the thought of potentially leaving it.
The product, engineering, and design folks at Pinterest are very smart and I think we all know that forcing integrations into Pinterest like the ones you're describing would really damage the user experience for end-users.
I've already built Pinterest integration for Instapaper, which you can link like other social accounts at http://instapaper.com/user. You can see how this integration looks on my Pinterest account: https://www.pinterest.com/bthdonohue/instapaper/
I will be a strong advocate against integrations that I would perceive to damage the user experience for Instapaper.
Lastly, thanks for your support over the years. I'm looking forward to continue bringing you the same great service at Pinterest.
Congratulations on the acquisition, and I wish you the best going forward.
 - https://medium.com/@pdavison/math-camp-is-joining-pinterest-...
David was pretty open in the post you linked to: "Though the team will live on, we’ll be focused on building within the core Pinterest product."
It's not without precedent for an established platform with an active user base, either. Facebook was smart enough to keep Instagram and Whatsapp separate, so I'm hoping that Pinterest is thinking the same.
Not a fan of Pinterest (the company), not one bit.
With that said, thanks for taking the time to respond, and congratulations on the acquisition.
Here's from the blog post:
"Instapaper provides a compelling source for news-based content, and we’re excited to take those learnings to Pinterest’s discovery products. We’ll also be experimenting with using our parsing technology for certain Rich Pin types."
Outside of operating Instapaper normally, those are the things we'll be working on with the Pinterest team.
Is this suggesting the Instapaper API will close or become more restricted as well?
Should Pinterest kill Instapaper would you folks be willing to open source it like FB/Parse?
I am closing my account today. Thanks for the service to date.