Instapaper leaves Pinterest

A couple of years ago, online read-it-later darling Instapaper got sold to Pinterest. Then, in the lousiest possible way, nothing happened. No real updates, tweaks or refinements for Instapaper the service or the app. It was frozen in time! Currently, it's not even possible to use it in Europe as its not in compliance with the new GDPR rules put in place in May. Fortunately, aside from the GDPR thing, everything still runs as smoothly as it did a few years back--users save content cleaved from the internet to read in their browser, on a Kindle or with a tablet or smartphone app, just like they could before the acquisition. But, as Instapaper's chief competitor, Pocket, has continued to add new features, better e-reader support (its app for Kobo E-Ink devices is frigging great,) and slicker mobile apps to its arsenal, it's been hard to stick by Instapaper, which feels stale by. Hopefully, all of that's about to change.

This morning, in a press release, the team that sold Instapaper to Pinterest announced that they have bought the service back:

Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest 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’ve been working on Instapaper since it was sold to betaworks by Marco Arment in 2013. The ownership transfer will occur after a 21 day waiting period designed to give our users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.

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FBI steals Instapaper servers

The FBI, acting on a warrant, seized an internet scam ring's servers—and, apparently, those of everyone else in the datacenter rack. Among the victims of Operation Go Go Gadget Cybercrime Investigation was Instapaper, Marco Arment's splendid and widely-used web bookmarking system.

Due to the police culture in the United States, especially at the federal level, I don't expect to ever get an explanation for this, have the server or its data returned, or be reimbursed for the damage they have illegally caused. I'm really not sure what to do about this. I'm speaking to my lawyer about it shortly, but as far as I know, there's nothing I can reasonably do without spending more money, time, and stress than I can afford on a path that would likely lead nowhere productive.

The FBI stole an Instapaper server in an unrelated raid [Instapaper]

Update: The server's back online, Arment reports. Read the rest