Instapaper has long been one of the most popular “read later” clients, and is currently available as an option in practically every mobile and desktop app that offers “read later” service integration. But according to Instapaper creator Marco Arment, Instagram may be about to change for the better, as Arment announced he has sold a majority share of the app to Betaworks – the same company that recently acquired Digg.
From Marco Arment’s blog:
Instapaper is much bigger today than I could have predicted in 2008, and it has simply grown far beyond what one person can do. To really shine, it needs a full-time staff of at least a few people. But I wouldn’t be very good at hiring and leading a staff, and after more than five years, I’d like an opportunity to try other apps and creative projects. Instapaper needs a new home where it can be staffed and grown, but I didn’t want to give it to a big company that would probably just shut it down in six months.
A couple of months ago, at 1:30 AM, I suddenly realized who should take it over. I jumped out of bed, tiptoed downstairs (no parent wants to wake a sleeping baby), and sent an email. It didn’t take much convincing, because we both knew it was a great fit.
I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold a majority stake in Instapaper to Betaworks. We’ve structured the deal with Instapaper’s health and longevity as the top priority, with incentives to keep it going well into the future. I will continue advising the project indefinitely, while Betaworks will take over its operations, expand its staff, and develop it further.
While Instapaper is no longer under Arment’s sole control, he will remain involved with the the Instapaper project – and now that the project is in the hands of a group of developers that can devote even more time and resources to the service, it should continue to improve at a much greater rate than if Arment continued managing the project himself.
Instapaper was a true pioneer among “read later” services, and it’s immense growth over the past few years stands as a testament to just how useful and indispensable such services have now become for users. Arment believes that selling to Betaworks is what’s best for Instapaper – and I’m inclined to agree. As a long-time user of Instapaper, I’m excited to see what Betaworks has in store for the service in the coming months and years!
For more in the Instapaper acquisition, and Marco Arment’s thoughts behind the sale, check out the PaidContent’s interview with Arment on the future of Instapaper!