What started out as a plug-in for the Firefox browser to let you save content that you will be reading on later, evolved into a stand-alone app that helped us make sense of all the information that are floating around every day. And now Pocket, formerly called Read It Later, has now been acquired by Mozilla, the owner of the aforementioned browser where it started. So it seems like a full circle kind of thing, although right now, we don’t really know what it means for consumers.
The two companies made simultaneous announcements on their respective blogs that Mozilla has finished its first acquisition and that it was the nine-year-old Pocket, which some called the “DVR for the internet”. Just how much the deal was for hasn’t been revealed as of now. What is clear from both of their announcements is that Pocket will still operate as an independent subsidiary. They will not change offices, no personnel has been laid off, their name is still on the office wall, and more importantly, their roadmap remains the same.
Analysts are saying that the acquisition is part of Mozilla’s strategy to make some headway into the mobile market. While on the desktop it’s still probably competing at par with Chrome, it has struggled to create a name in mobile devices. Pocket meanwhile is strong in this game, with 10 million monthly active users. Its strongest competitor, Instapaper, was acquired by Pinterest last year, although we haven’t seen any changes in the product yet.
For now, everything will remain status quo for Pocket. But we should probably expect some changes, hopefully for the better. We also want to watch out for how this will affect Mozilla’s mobile strategy.