Business, Cell phones, E-books, Finance, General ramblings, Howto, social bookmarking, Software, Technology, Thoughts, Tumblr, Web 2.0


Marco, a co-founder of Tumblr, introduced a new service yesterday, called Instapaper. It’s a bookmarking site with a difference. So many times I’ve come across amazing articles which I’ve wanted to read, but because of time constraints, haven’t been able to. Generally, I’m hesitant in adding these to my Delicious list, which I use exclusively for items that I’ll be “using” sometime in the future. Adding articles that I want to read later to my delicious account doesn’t make sense. Maybe I’m just extra organized, but I don’t like it even if my Yahoo! Inbox is crowded with unread (and useless) emails, even though there is no space limit. Anyhoo, getting back to the topic- You can use Instapaper to add these articles which you want to read later. It serves as an Instant Newspaper, featuring articles chosen exclusively by you 😉 This is a great tool for people who have long commutes, for students who love to play around with their cell phones in between classes etc. You can open your mobile phone browser and log into Instapaper and catch up on some reading.

Here are some screen shots with explanations:


1. The Sign Up Process is as easy as it can get. All you need to do is enter your Email address or a username. You don’t even need to set a password. In fact, you should sign up for this service just to see the “Register” process in action 🙂

2. This is the Log In page. Like you can see, all I’ve done is entered my Email address (which is not really a secret).

3. This is my Instapaper page. So pretty and white. I’m in love with the way it looks. It even beats in simplicity! On the upper right side corner, there is a small logo called “Read Later”. This is the bookmarklet that you can drag and drop to your favorite web browser and use it for saving articles. My log in page had three articles when I took the screenshot.

4. If you notice, there is a pink box called “Skip” next to each Article link. You can click that in case you don’t want to read something right away. When I skipped my first item, it landed at the bottom of the page in the section “Recently Skipped”. Here, a new link for deleting this article also appears. So, you can either read it later (in which case it automatically lands under a section called Recently Read) and delete it or mark it as unread (using the green box on the left), in which case it will land up in your ‘Unread Section’ again.

5. I decided to delete my first item from the “Recently Skipped” section. As you can see, the “Unread” section displays the remaining two items.

Simple enough? 🙂 Now go and sign up for it and you’ll never have to skip another article on the internet.

Edit: All screenshots have been removed because of some privacy issues. Sorry. 

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11 thoughts on “Instapaper

  1. Question: Is Tumblr.Inc actually paying you for all the advertising? Or is it based on the number of people who join it after reading your reviews? 😛 Okay okay, just kidding. 😛

    This sounds like a neat idea indeed. My feed reader does the same thing for me, not only does it store feeds but also webpages that can be kind of tagged and then you can ask it to display all the unread items as a slideshow. But of course, that can’t do anything on the mobile phone. The feed reader is called Newzie in case you are interested.

    But I like the screenshots, I’m a sucker for simplicity so this kind of becomes a must try. However, I have no time what so ever except for the time for posting comments. I haven’t made another post on Tumblr either so I guess I’ll start using it only when I can make some use of it right?

    How’s everything else going?

  2. @ ish:

    No, they’re not paying me. Don’t we talk about all the time? Are they paying us? Heh.

    I need to check out this Newzie thing. Does it let you store pages on the net as you surf and mark them as “unread” or does it store only those pages that are already in your reader?

    I’m using the Flock RSS reader now and really liking it. It lets me save items too. But it didn’t have the flexibility to let me save items that were not in my reader. So, instapaper sounds cool…esp. if you’re traveling or use more than one computer.

    It took me more time to take those screenshots and write a post than to actually create an account and get started. It’s the new thing now and I’ve already had lots of people search for it and landing here. 🙂

    Yeah, I can understand that you must be really busy with your studies and all now. How was your paper?

  3. Pingback: What’s in my Laptop? « Time and Again

  4. Okay, I’m not exactly sure if Newzie does let you save webpages but it lets you subscribe to the webpages that don’t have a feed..for example when another image is added etc. Since it has an inbuilt browser which unfortunately is based on IE, I think you can mark pages and put them in your saved items. However, I’m not completely sure so here’s a link that should explain better.

    Computer exam went okay. I’ve got the chemistry re-test tomorrow..and then the physics retest on 2nd..and then the chemistry practical on 4th..there will be a maths retest somewhere after that..then the physics practical on 7th and finally the computer practical on 13th. Boards from the 1st of march.

  5. @Ish

    Glad to know that your exam went well. All the best for Chem and everything else. Time to kick some ass, aye? 😀

    Reading your Board exam schedule makes me sweat and remember my days. Just two more months to go 😉

    As far as newzie is concerned, I think it’s different from Instapaper then- Instapaper is not about subscribing to that website or blog. It just stores the link to a particular article. That’s it. But this newzie sounds interesting. I’ll download it and let you know. Thanks 😛

  6. My reason for using Newzie is pretty simple. Though I really love Google Reader, I don’t want to stay logged into it all the time because of the GMail scare. There are too many fake pages around with scripts that can extract passwords from the accounts you are logged into and that’s why I log into my e-mail accounts only when I’m around the computer these days. Earlier I would just log into the account and forget it. First I tried looking at websites that would provide Feeds without having to log in, didn’t find anything worthwhile and finally started searching for a light desktop application. Found Newzie and now I’m pretty happy with it. The only issue was that it wouldn’t recognize the OPML files exported by Google so I had to manually add all the fields to Newzie, but after that it’s been a good enough companion.

    Btw, I think it requires you to have IE installed on your computer.

  7. Not to mention that delicious gets overcrowded. At least mine does.
    So I guess it’s better to have two such services (just like I use Fx and Flock parllely ). Will give it a try for few days.

    By the way, is their an Fx extension for it yet?

  8. @ ish:

    There are too many fake pages around with scripts that can extract passwords from the accounts you are logged into and that’s why I log into my e-mail accounts only when I’m around the computer these days.

    I am afraid you are half informed. I am, however, glad that you are conscious enough not to ignore such dangers, unlike others.
    What you have mentioned, sounds very similar to CSRF attack. However, to do so, there has to have a CSRF vuln in the web app. Although, GMail have had it’s share of XSS and CSRF vulneabilities, and will continue to have; but you could avoid it all simply by using a separate browser (say Flock) for you sensitive browsing like GMail, Yahoo!, etc, and another (say Firefox) for general browsing.
    Also keep your eyes open for Phishing portals.

  9. @ ish:

    Though i understand your concern, how does your staying/not staying at the computer’s got to do with the fake pages? 😛 Btw, you can subscribe to feeds even without logging into your Google Reader:

    It doesn’t recognize OPML files? Hmm…I have hundreds of feeds. There is no way that I could import them. When I tranferred my account from Bloglines to GReader, it took me only 5 minutes. But I’m finding the Flock RSS reader to be better. This way, I don’t have to remain logged into Google all the time.


    Yes, even though I have lots of different tags, my Delicious page is getting crowded now. Instapaper doesn’t have an extension; but that bookmarklet is all that you need. Anyway, I prefer bookmarklets to extensions, because they are lighter. 🙂

  10. Were you able to transfer your Google Reader subscriptions to Flock? If yeah, then do the same with Newzie and it will transfer. Otherwise export an OPML from Flock and Newzie will recognize that. The only problem is that many programs (including Flock) don’t seem to recognize Google Reader’s exports.

  11. @ ish:

    There is a method by which you need to save it in textpad actually. I googled it. Suppose the exported file name is “ish.opml”. Rename it to “ish.xml” (along with the quotes). This will force TextPad to save the file as a valid XML file. You won’t have any problem with Flock or any other reader then. 😉

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