Digg-owning Betaworks takes over popular iOS app Instapaper
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 25, 2013.
Instapaper’s founder and owner, Marco Arment, has just announced that Betaworks has acquired a majority stake in announced on his app Instapaper on his personal blog. These are the same folks who bought Digg last year, and now they own a majority share in the most admired read it later service on iOS and Android. Arment has been the face and voice of the Apple dev community for quite a while now, while Instapaper has been the shining indie app success story that most developers can only dream of, and this decision means that Instapaper will stop being handled and maintained by just a single person (Arment himself), and will have a larger team backing it.
Arment has stated in his latest blog post that the one man operational style that he was running in order to keep Instapaper up and running was growing more and more impractical with the passing day, and the new owners of the app would need an actual staff with a few members for it to get updated and maintained on a regular basis.
Betaworks’ own intentions on this deal may seem a bit hazy, but in reality, aren’t (in all likelihood). Digg saw a major facelift and surge in users post its takeover by Betaworks, and it has recently announced its plans to launch a rival Google Reader experience when the latter gets shuttered off by Google in a couple of months. Getting the very best read it later experience combined with an RSS service could possibly be a gamechanger for both Digg, as well as Betaworks.
What Instapaper fans need to know (at the very least) is that the app will live on, as Arment has explicitly stated. Takeovers like this often end up in cancelled and shuttered apps, but Instapaper is quite clearly a cash cow that can’t just be taken off the App Store.