Leaving Pocket For Instapaper

Jul 25, 2016
Joe Buhlig
~2 mins

I follow specific websites less and less. I’m more inclined to follow people and services on Twitter and Medium that act as sources of curated articles. This gives me the ability to find sites I normally would have glossed over and still read my favorite writers.

But regardless of where I find these articles, I still need a way to save them for later. I rarely have time to read an article the moment I discover it. In the past I’ve used Pocket, but I have now moved to Instapaper.

Originally, I chose Pocket for its IFTTT integration. I had built a number of recipes that acted on the tagging ability of Pocket. But over time I slowly turned these off one by one, mostly due to my move away from tagging articles.

I still would’ve stayed with Pocket if they had simply left the URLs of the articles alone. When I’m finished with an article, I either archive it or share it. But if you share it through Pocket, they insist on shortening the URL with their custom link. The only way around it that I have found is to have Workflow expand the the link before sharing. When I see links shared by others, I use the top level domain (TLD) of the link as part of my decision about whether or not I want to read it. So I don’t want my own links preventing that ability.

Coupled with the link shortening is the difficulty in sharing quotes from Pocket. It is similarly complicated to do so without the Pocket custom link. Contrast this with Instapaper, where it works perfectly without the need for Workflow actions to expand the link and format the text. Instapaper uses the link you originally saved and gets out of the way.

The reading experience is also far better on Instapaper. They give a lot of options to customize the reading view. And since these are apps designed for reading, I feel this is paramount. The experience in Pocket is not bad, I simply prefer the environment created and allowed by Instapaper.

When I realized I was no longer using IFTTT with Pocket it gave me the freedom to explore other options. And because I have been watching Instapaper for a long time hoping their IFTTT integration would progress, it was the perfect time to switch. I no longer needed Instapaper to adopt a deeper relationship with IFTTT, so I could make the transition with zero compromises.