Instapaper (and Your Data) Are Changing Hands Again

Instapaper has announced that it's going independent (again!):

We want to emphasize that not much is changing for the Instapaper product outside the new ownership. The product will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. We plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and the reading experience for the foreseeable future.

It's great that they're going indie again, and it's especially good to see that it will be run by the same team from which Pinterest bought it in 2016. However, one does tend to wonder why Pinterest wanted to buy Instapaper two years ago and now they want to dump it. There's no reason to expect, necessarily, that they are making this move because Instapaper is a bad business for Pinterest. It seems fairly obvious that one explanation might be that Pinterest got the data (including user data) they wanted, and now that they have what they were actually after, they don’t care about the product enough to invest anything in it.

Granted this is conjecture, but the fact that we don’t know what they are doing with customer data is the whole point. As I've argued before, When services are sold, users’ data is at risk of being manipulated in ways that users can’t have predicted. Be very careful when a thing you use changes hands.

At this point I'd like to remind you that we are 100% committed to operating LinkLocker for the long haul, and that we will never sell your data, because we don't try to claim that we own it in the first place.

Did I mention that we can import your Instapaper data?