Read It Later is making its app completely free — no more $2.99 Pro version — and renaming it Pocket to express “how simple it is to take any content users discover with them, no matter where they go.”
“Read It Later was profitable from the first day it launched its original, paid iPhone app,” Read It Later founder Nate Weiner told paidContent. Before today’s change to free, it’s been the number-one paid news app on Android and Kindle Fire. “However, just because our company made money, it doesn’t mean we were making it in a way that fit our business best.” Weiner said “part of the reason we raised money last summer was because I recognized this and had a different model I wanted to go after”; he said he’ll share more details about the new business model this summer.
Read It Later (the company name stays the same) has 4.5 million users and says YouTube is its apps’ most popular source of content (YouTube is also the company’s most-saved domain across platforms). Forty percent of items saved aren’t articles but content like videos, images, things to buy, travel tips and recipes. Fifty percent of items saved through the app are viewed on mobile screens, up from 34 percent in January. And 33 percent of saved items come from third-party apps like Twitter, Zite, Flipboard and Pulse.
The new app makes it easier to filter content by type and to tag and organize it. The interface looks more like Flipboard or Pulse, with images instead of just a list of articles.
Users who already have Read It Later Pro just have to update the app to get Pocket. Users of the free version have to download Pocket separately.