Mozilla starts to publish Pocket code

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 11, 2018

Mozilla Corp. acquired the Read-It-Later service Pocket in 2017 and promised to turn Pocket into an Open Source service to address criticism and reservation that some users had towards the service.

Mozilla did not reveal its primary motivation for acquiring the service; a likely explanation is that the organization wants to boost its content discovery service for Firefox by leveraging Pocket's vast content database and existing user base.

Pocket users can save articles that they stumble upon on the Internet to Pocket. They can read these items at a later point in time. It works a bit like bookmarking in this regard but with the difference that the articles can be read directly on any supported device, even without Internet connection.

Mozilla did integrate Pocket in Firefox natively in 2015 but that did not sit well with part of the browser's userbase. Pocket was a proprietary service back then, and many users felt that Mozilla was not straight up with them when it came to the integration. There were other issues with the service, for instance, that users had to become active to disable Pocket, or that Pocket was available as an add-on previously that users of the service could use instead.

It did not help that it became known later that Mozilla had entered a revenue share agreement with Pocket.

Pocket is integrated into Firefox in several ways already. Pocket recommendations may be displayed on the browser's new tab page, and the browser's address bar features a "save to Pocket" button prominently.

save to pocket

A Pocket account is not required to save web pages, but it is recommended as you may lose access to the data without an account.

Mozilla published some of Pocket's source code already on GitHub. Interested users can head over to the main repository to access the various bits there. The release is not complete yet as the server-side code is not released yet.

Still, it is a first step that could convince Firefox users who did not like the proprietary nature of Pocket to give the service a try. Mozilla plans to turn Pocket into an open source application to increase trust and maybe also to get other developers on board. (via Sören)

Mozilla starts to publish Pocket code
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Mozilla starts to publish Pocket code
Mozilla Corp. acquired the Read-It-Later service Pocket in 2017 and promised to turn Pocket into an Open Source service to address criticism and reservation that some users had towards the service.
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  1. CVZalez said on March 20, 2019 at 10:20 am

    The real question here is why is Mozilla offering a service that is basically a Web History on steroids, that really can tell a lot about the user without giving full end to end encryption? After all, the information you put there can be bank statements and so on, it’s not brainer it needs hard encryption,but hey,maybe that’s because, like Evernote, Google Notes, Microsoft One Note etc also don’t give end to end encryption, it’s the perfect excuse so they can sell your lovelly private data to the biggest seller!…

  2. Anonymous said on April 16, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Where is my browser history being stored, and how is it being used?

  3. Tiago Celestino said on January 12, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Will Mozilla closes Pocket Premium?

  4. Tony said on January 11, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    If a user wants to completely disable Pocket code from loading, how do they do that?

    1. justaned said on January 12, 2018 at 12:04 am

      Go to about:config and scroll down to extensions. You can disable it from there.
      extensions.pocket.enabled toggle it to false

      To be honest, I’m uncertain if that completely disables it; but I believe it does. The icon disappears, and I’ve not seen any indication that it loads.

      1. Lorenzo said on January 12, 2018 at 10:03 am

        You can remove Pocket from firefox by deleting the XPI-file from %programfiles%\Mozilla Firefox\browser\features. The file is called “”

  5. zakius said on January 11, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I wonder when we’ll get full support alike the one provided by abandoned extension…

  6. Mark Hazard said on January 11, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    I don’t want or need Pocket. I have disabled it on FF52ESR. If I have to have it on FF57+, I may use another browser. Why doesn’t Mozilla let users have or not have what they want?

  7. Myname said on January 11, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Now they started publishing code after removing security flaws to cover leaked user data ;)

  8. Appster said on January 11, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Bloatware. Services for which you need to register (apart from Sync, obviously) shouldn’t be in the browser by default, as the browser is used by the general public. Why don’t they just create a Pocket add-on and let Firefox users install it as they see fit? Why?

    1. poe said on January 11, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      I used to use Pocke. Pocket extension was more powerful than the intergrated Pocket. I haven’t used it since Mozilla removed the Pocket extension.
      Pocket does need user account, if you don’t have account how Firefox can sync between PC and Phone?

      1. pocketrocket said on January 12, 2018 at 9:55 am

        Have you seen the In My Pocket extension? I loved the old extension but this new one has at least some of the old features,

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 11, 2018 at 10:55 am

      To be fair, you don’t need to register to use Pocket.

      1. Appster said on January 11, 2018 at 11:03 am

        Fine, then. Saw the account-based website and a “Pocket Premium” offering. Don’t know how useful Pocket is without that. It would be interesting to know how many users actually depend on Pocket. If it is below 5% of the Firefox user base it should be kicked out ASAP.

      2. pocketrocket said on January 12, 2018 at 9:54 am

        As I wrote in another comment I use Pocket a lot, as a tool to get urls from any app on another devices (Android phone) into Firefox on the PC in a convenient way. Without it I would drop Firefox and go all Chrome, since I need to share links to the browser quickly.

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on January 11, 2018 at 11:27 am

        I’m with you on this on. It seems more likely that it will be integrated deeper into Firefox though.

  9. Name said on January 11, 2018 at 9:00 am

    The biggest problem with Pocket is that I can’t easily delete what I saved. I have to click an extra confirmation prompt. It is just a waste of time. Bookmark has a better user experience. One biggest disadvantage is that there is no way to monetize. It is just like Google reader. It is useful, but they don’t want to support it.

    1. pocketrocket said on January 12, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Check the In My Pocket add-on for the PC version of Firefox.
      Its toolbar button shows a compact list of Pocket items sorted by date added. Hover over an item and click the thrash can icon to permanently delete it.

    2. Jojo said on January 12, 2018 at 3:35 am

      Seriously? The BIGGEST problem with this app for you is having to do ONE extra keystroke to delete an entry? [roflol]

      I don’t like the confirm msg on the PC app either and have complained about it numerous times but no one is motivated to fix it.

      But note that there is no confirm delete msg in the Android app.

      1. Name said on January 13, 2018 at 10:22 am

        One little thing tells the difference between a good product and a bad one.

  10. notAUser said on January 11, 2018 at 8:49 am

    It’s after “Web ScrapBook” Firefox and Chrome addon came out? :)

    This addon allows save whole page (with js, img, css etc) as one file in .maff, .html, htz formats.

  11. Jojo said on January 11, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Pocket is the best thing since sliced bread! I’ve used it regularly for years to save articles off of my Android phone and then read them later on the PC. At that point, I may delete the article or save it to a dB and/or post the article on a forum.

    And hope no one is envious but I received this from Pocket a few days ago [lol]
    Congratulations, Jojo!

    You’re a top reader in Pocket for 2017, and you should be proud! Not only did you make it into the top 5%, you’ve also exercised your brain and undoubtedly learned a ton in the process.

    1. pocketrocket said on January 12, 2018 at 9:43 am

      I use Pocket the same way as you do! Very quick and functional and the great thing that we can share Pocket from everywhere in Android. Without Pocket it would be a real hassle to get links from Chrome on Android to Firefox on desktop for example. I’d probably switch to Chrome everywhere and use its bookmark sync to share between devices if it weren’t for Pocket. (No I don’t like Firefox for Android very much.)

    2. Klaas Vaak said on January 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Jojo, that’s just a marketing ploy to get you keep using Pocket at that high rate. When I 1st started using Pocket, before I ditched it, I also got that “award”. But think about it: what does a rating like that actually bring you? Better service? More contacts? Money? Temporary premium access? Nothing.

      1. Jojo said on January 12, 2018 at 3:27 am

        I use Pocket as much as I do because it is THE BEST app for my specific needs. And it being free also helps.

        But why so cynical? Are you like this throughout your life? You need to get rid of the black cloud hanging over your head! Whew.

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