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Instapaper vs Pocket

I am twaeking my social media setup for past couple of days and can’t seem to rest upon it. I am going on between Hootsuite, native Twitter client and Tapbot.

The main reason why I am making the switch in my social media setup is actually Instapaper. Instapaper proved to be financially inefficient to me, when compared to Pocket.

Pocket is free, has a desktop client (ReadLater) which works rather well. Instapaper doesn’t have a desktop client at all, but syncs with ReadLater if you pay 1$ per month. While this wouldn’t bother me had I not already paid the app itself 5$.

Okay, big deal, I can’t use the API on it’s own, save it for “premium subscribers”. Now the next imposing limitation is I can’t use search. I believe we used to have search before, it was just imposed as a limit a couple of months ago, while I didn’t pay attention.

Seems that Pocket has free desktop client, free iOS client and on top of it all it, search is free. Now why would I pay for free stuff, I am not sure. I was kinda brand loyal towards Instapaper for a little bit too much. It’s time to go out to greener pastures.

On top of all the differencies, Pocket has more features related to video that I didn’t still see. Now this brought me to another point.

Since Hootsuite only had an option to add articles to Instapaper, seems like it meant for me, that I have to change my whole social media setup. Painful job, but somebody had to do it. Took me like 2 hours to set everything up.

Adding Pocket accounts to Zite, Flipboard, newly tested Tweetbot.. The Tweetbot was especially a pain, cause I had to add an account for every Twitter account I used. It was all daunting, but now I can read my articles on my laptop. And sometimes I love to do that on a big nice 23 inch screen.

Now only thing that left me wondering is there a way to migrate from Instapaper to Pocket?


Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Bojan is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

16 responses to “Instapaper vs Pocket

  1. I have been using Read it later (or Pocket) for more than one year. Two days ago I went the other way round. The reason is that I have switched from RSSOwl to NetNewswire – NNW only supports Instapaper. Soon I have discovered that the clipping of Instapaper is far better. Pocket can’t clip articles from many of my RSS subscriptions. I am a happy user of Instapaper now and pay my small duties.

    1. @09d1fc691c1a1bc87b7eb1e89eeb44d3:disqus good to hear it works for you. Pocket appears to work for me, the same way after testing it a little bit. I find tags amazing, compared to folders.

  2. I have been using both Instapaper and Pocket (previously ReadItLater) for about 2 years on my iPhone, iPad and PC (now Mac) and have consistently found that Pocket renders pages better than Instapaper. This may be due to the type of articles I’m clipping: mostly tutorials from tech and photography blogs. Most of the time Pocket seems better at keeping the article structure intact whereas I found that Instapaper either bunches pictures together at the bottom of the page or strips them out altogether. Not very useful for photography tutorials! I even started to use Pocket as on-the-go web clipper for Evernote.
    Regarding HootSuite and Tweetbot: I started using Instapaper because HS doesn’t support Pocket. Tweetbot supports both Instapaper and Pocket but ONLY for saving links, so if you want to save whole tweets you’re stuck with HS. An alternative that works for me is forwarding whole Tweets to Evernote, which saves them in more complete form than Instapaper. Since I do this a lot and want all my clippings and Tweets in one place, I stopped using HootSuite and Instapaper and now save everything either in Pocket (for tutorials and leisure reading = a portable “magazine” that is available on my iPhone and iPad all the time) or Evernote (job related news clippings that will be processed at my desktop).

    1. @yami_no_geisha:disqus I find your insight valuable. I am not doing too much of the reading in HootSuite, I plan on using it mostly as a work platform to schedule tweets and respond. So I will stick to Pocket.

  3. I’ve used both Instapaper and Pocket, but I am also an Evernote user and came up with a great way to keep all my “stuff” in one place.

    All my notes, blog ideas, meeting notes, proposal drafts etc. are already in Evernote in appropriate folders. For the “stuff” I want to read later, I just created a notebook called “read later”, made it the default notebook and available offline. Now I just keep everything in one place, in one App, available across all platforms.

    1. @seaneclark:disqus I used to have the same attitude, but Evernote doesn’t get my reading habits the same way the Instapaper and Pocket do. They are carefully designed for reading purposes only. That makes them far superior to Evernote in that regard.

    2. Bojan and I have been discussing this since I posted my ‘what’s the point of pocket?’ Article on my blog ( ). I’m trialling pocket at the moment but I can’t find a single thing that I can’t do equally well in Evernote. I’m waiting for the lightbulb moment on this one!

      1. Pocket is read it later service. I use it as a first line of defense, before something ends up in Evernote. It’s like my “To read” list. With some fancy functionallity that Evernote doesn’t have. I often send to Tumblr from there, for example. It simply has more sharing options. Hope that makes sense. It’s leaning more to the social media side. I assume you aren’t pumping up your social media in the similar fashion as I do.

  4. I hadn’t considered the ‘what do do with it next’ angle, and I notice now that Pocket also offers the option to post to Buffer, which ties in with the ‘staging area’ concept you mentioned previously.
    So it may be that there’s a useful workflow in there to decide whether the article goes to evernote, social media or both.
    I will give this some thought!

  5. Great discussion!

    I’ve the last two years I’ve been using Instapaper, Read It Later, Readability and Evernote.

    I’m using these apps strictly for reading. Once read I delete it tor archive and delete it.

    I first used Instapaper and Read It Later, but stopped using them because they required too many taps to delete an article. Readability better supported my workflow, but became too slow.

    I switched back to Instapaper once I evaluated a new version which UI better supported my workflow. The reason I again stopped using Instapaper was that some articles couldn’t be downloaded, embedded video’s were difficult to open and I often couldn’t add a link from the article I was reading.

    I downloaded Pocket and it’s great for my workflow. I can view video’s inside articles, add links to my read later list by tapping on a link in an article I’m currently reading.

    I’ve tried using Evernote and Clearly in Chrome is an awesome tool to clip into Evernote. On iOS I couldn’t find a solution to clip into Evernote without too much friction. I still use Evernote Clearly to read articles that are not in Pocket.

    1. On Safari, open the Reader function, and then email yourself to Everenote email address. It phrases it rather good. That’s how I clip on iOS.

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