Pocket to show sponsored content to free users

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 24, 2016

Pocket is a popular "read it later" service that has a strong connection with Mozilla and the Firefox web browser but is available for Google Chrome based browsers, mobile applications and a web-based service as well.

The service is free to use but premium accounts are available for $44.99 per year which add more functionality to the service such as backups of all saved articles and web pages, full text search, and advanced search operators.

Pocket announced recently on the official blog that it plans to add another revenue generating opportunity to the site.

Sponsored Content

In the coming weeks, free users of Pocket may see sponsored content posts on the site or apps when they are using the service.

The company promises that sponsored content on Pocket will be high-quality, transparent, dependent on user feedback, not invasive to user privacy and in user control.

So what does this all mean?

Sponsored content will be clearly labeled as such in the user's list and recommended feed so that it is easy to distinguish between sponsored items and others. The team has not published a screenshot of how sponsored content will look like though which means that it cannot be verified right now.

While there won't be an option to turn off sponsored posts completely without upgrading to a premium subscription, it will be at least possible to hide posts on the site and leave feedback.

Sponsors won't have access to what a user saves or does when using Pocket according to the announcement.

In addition to all that, Pocket promises that sponsored posts will "feel natural" and will be things that users are interested in reading or watching.

What this means, likely, is that Pocket will base sponsored posts on a user's interests. The team has not revealed how sponsored posts are selected for individual users, but it could work similar to how recommended items are selected (so, the more posts of a certain interest you save, the more likely it is that sponsored posts will match that interest).

Additional information about the new sponsored content on Pocket is provided on the official blog announcing the change, and the Pocket Sponsored Content FAQ.

Sponsored posts will roll out slowly in the coming weeks.

Now You: Are you a Pocket user? What's your take on sponsored content? (via Caschy)

Pocket to show sponsored content to free users
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Pocket to show sponsored content to free users
The Pocket Team announced recently that it will begin start to show sponsored content to free users of its service in the coming weeks.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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