Regular readers will remember Betaworks; they were the company that bought and relaunched Digg, regaining market share quickly. This week, the company purchased successful read later service Instapaper, adding another content aggregator to its already impressive portfolio, which already includes Digg and Bitly.
Any time a company starts purchasing this many related companies, there is always a fear: new products will be closed and cannibalized to enhance current offerings. We have seen it happen with Google many times, including Meebo and this week's Wavii closure, as well as some of Facebook's acquisitions. In a lot of cases, especially with Facebook, the interest is in the employees, who already have domain expertise in whatever area into which the company is trying to expand.
In this case, however, Betaworks has promised that the service will remain active. This is good news for the founder, Marco Arment, who only sold because he knew the platform was getting too big and popular for a single person to develop and he was not the type to lead a full staff of people. In fact, Arment contacted Betaworks about the sale, knowing the companies were a good fit for one another and knowing that Betaworks, if interested, would keep the service alive and enhance it.
The concept of the app is a great one, but a wider distribution of the platform will help its long-term success. Hopefully Betaworks' acquisition of the product will help officially bring it to other platforms, like Windows Phone and Windows 8, both of which currently have an app called "Stacks for Instapaper."
Have you had the opportunity to use Instapaper? Do you like the concept? Would you like to see it on other platforms? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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