24 August 2016Instapaper:
All of these features and developments revolved around the core mission of Instapaper, which is allowing our users to discover, save, and experience interesting web content. In that respect, there is a lot of overlap between Pinterest and Instapaper. Joining Pinterest provides us with the additional resources and experience necessary to achieve that shared mission on a much larger scale.
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.
Most software company acquisitions in the tech world at the moment are head turning and puzzling but this isn’t one of them, as far as I’m concerned. Pinterest is a social bookmarking website with a focus on photography. A purchase of Instapaper allows them to easily grow into other content types, namely text.
Hidden at the bottom of this announcement is a ‘sunsetting’ of Instaparser, a paid API endpoint for developers to take advantage of Instapaper’s intelligent article parsing. The service is shutting down in November. It launched in April, now being shuttered in the same year it was debuted. This is pretty crappy especially given Instaparser was a paid service charging hundreds of dollars per month for an API key.
Personally, I didn’t see the motivation for Instaparser to exist. It sucks for those who adopted it but shutting it down is the right strategy for a company that is otherwise very focused on just doing one thing. It was a mistake to release Instaparser at all.