Instapaper returns to EU, relaunches its premium subscription service

Last month, Instapaper spun out from Pinterest – two years after being acquired – to again become its own independent “read later” service. Today, the new company is announcing a plan that will allow it to sustain itself in the years ahead: yes, its subscription service has returned. The company is relaunching its Instapaper Premium subscription service for $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. This offers a variety of upgraded features to Instapaper users, including an ad-free website, full-text search, and more. It’s also live again in the EU, as it has now become GDPR compliant.

Instapaper’s relaunched Premium service will include the following:

  • Full-text search for all articles in your account
  • Unlimited Notes
  • Text-to-Speech playlists on mobile
  • Speed reading to get through all of your articles up to 3x faster
  • An ad-free Instapaper website
  • “Send to Kindle” using a bookmarklet or our mobile apps

These are the same features that Instapaper had made free for all, directly following its acquisition by Pinterest.

In doing so, Instapaper became a more compelling alternative to rival Pocket, which continued to charge for things like ad-free browsing and full-text search. But it also raised the question as to what Pinterest aimed to do with Instapaper going forward – if it wasn’t bringing in its own revenues, there was concern the service was being put in maintenance-only mode.

In truth, Instapaper never quite made sense for Pinterest, beyond both sharing a similar focus in allowing users to save pieces of the web to their personal collections – in Instapaper’s case, articles to be read; for Pinterest, just about anything else. Of course, it also brought to Pinterest a valuable team of engineers.

The companies had said at the time of the acquisition they would work on the development of Rich Pins. Pinterest today offers Article Pins that let users save stories they want to read. But it has never become known as an Instapaper alternative.

Instapaper has lived through several ownership changes since being first founded by Marco Arment. It was later sold to Betaworks, and then to Pinterest. Now the same team who have been working on Instapaper since the sale to Betaworks in 2013 are back in charge of the new company called Instant Paper, Inc.

They’ve spent the last two months working on becoming GDPR-compliant, and today say they’ve again made the service available to European Union users as a result.

“We are very sorry for the extended downtime and, as a token of our apology, we are giving six months of Instapaper Premium to all EU users affected by the outage,” the company apologized in its announcement.

“We’ve updated our privacy policy to include the rights afforded to EU users under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Additionally, in the interest of transparency, we are posting our privacy policy to GitHub where you can view a versioned history of all the changes to our privacy policy.” the blog post also noted.

Those interested in upgrading to Instapaper Premium can do so here.