Pinterest Transfers Instapaper Ownership To New Entity

Nearly two years after Pinterest agreed to buy Instapaper, the pair have decided to go their separate ways.

The pin-based social network has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc. -- a new company owned and operated by the same people who have worked on Instapaper since it sold to Betaworks in 2013.

The ownership transfer is expected to occur after a 21-day waiting period, which is designed to give users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.

“We want to emphasize that not much is changing for the Instapaper product outside the new ownership,” Instapaper said in a statement.

The product will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who have been working on Instapaper for the past five years, the company promises.

When Pinterest bought Instapaper in the summer of 2016, there was believed to be a strong appetite for saving written articles -- Instapaper’s bread and butter -- among Pinterest users.

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In fact, saving written articles was already a popular pastime among users, Pinterest representatives said at the time.

After selling a majority stake to Betaworks in 2013, Instapaper tried to bolster its offerings by rewriting its back end, overhauling its mobile and Web clients, improving parsing and search, and introducing various features, such as highlights, text-to-speech and speed reading.

Despite these efforts, Instapaper had trouble competing against similar offerings from Facebook, which launched a Save feature back in 2014.

Pinterest is clearly more focused on video, a highly lucrative media format. Those efforts appear to have helped the company increase its ad sales to $473 million, last year -- up 58% from 2016.

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