Apps may not use users’ Instapaper data or other personal data in any way that a reasonable person would likely deem “creepy” or otherwise unacceptable. Instapaper reserves the right to decide whether an app’s usage of users’ data is creepy.
I was quite happy when I saw this, as I have been using a different unofficial client to use my Instapaper account on my Android app.
Unfortunately one of it's nicest features is the ability to sync and download it's content in the background. I am very disappointed to see that the api tos especially for forbid this.
Combine this with the ability of sites to opt out of Instapaper and the prohibitation against automatically adding things to the user account from an rss feed and my use for Instapaper has pretty much disappeared.
I understand the need for Marco to make money on this, and I hope you make so much money of this that you can swim in it, but frankly the way to do this is not to deliver a crippled service - it's to charge what you are worth, which is far more than one dollar.
The only reason to charge one dollar is to make it to the top of the iphone sales charts. It's not really a viable strategy anywhere else.
* Don't make multiple simultaneous API calls.
* Each thing added must be a result of a specific user action. I'm not sure whether this applies to things retrieved from the API.
Also, the dollar per month is for the subscription service, not the purchase of the Instapaper iOS app. Current Instapaper for iOS app users do not need the subscription service, but users who use apps that use this new API will.
I don't think I'm in the minority in saying that being charged for Instapaper would actually be, in some ways, a relief. It transformed how I read online things, brought whole new levels of usability to my iDevices, and while if Marco ever went insane and shut it down I'm sure there would be a million competitors to fill the void.
Very good point there. And with the new Readability project, I'd expect he'd tie any required subscription in with a way to give back to the writers if he did require one. Still, he said the iOS apps are remaining free, so no problem there really.
Has anyone here subscribed to Readability yet and added it to your Instapaper account?
This is a very interesting compromise. I wonder if it will have the side effect of confusing users who are not subscribed (and may not even realize what "subscription" means). It could backfire especially if a third party paid app is released. "What do you mean I have to pay for a subscription? I paid for the app!"
Still, a smart move for keeping Instapaper profitable (or at least to keep the API from eating at Instapaper's profits).
I think the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act  made this impossible in the US. Instapaper would be a third party seller and would be bound by new data pass rules:
(2) the post-transaction third party seller has received the express informed consent for the charge from the consumer whose credit card, debit card, bank account, or other financial account will be charged by--
(A) obtaining from the consumer--
(i) the full account number of the account to be charged; and
(ii) the consumer's name and address and a means to contact the consumer;
(B) requiring the consumer to perform an additional affirmative action, such as clicking on a confirmation button or checking a box that indicates the consumer's consent to be charged the amount disclosed
I'd better elaborate here. No, I do not suggest that the 3rd party APIs should pass customer credit cards to instapaper before recieving an API key.
Instead Instapaper should allow developers (or any user) to have more than than one API key/subscription associated with a single card or account. That way if I'm a 3rd party developer, I can create 100 subscriptions myself, and attatch them individually to each program I release to a customer.
The customers information never goes to Instapaper.
My account can be pre-billed if that's what it takes to stay within fincance regulations, but once there's a certain amount prepaid into the account I should be able to create a working subscription key via api.
One benefit of this is that Instapaper doesn't have to worry about dealing with front-line customers---that's the 3rd party developers responsibility. If one customer overuses the API, Instapaper can just cut them off and leave the investigation up to the 3rd party developer.
The thing is that if I am using Readability already I wouldn't subscribe to Instapaper. Of course, readability may have paid back $1 from your $5 to Instapaper if you make the accounts from both to be synchronized.