Pocket to Show Sponsored Content to Free Users

Previously, I’d been having a hard time understanding what benefits Pocket provides, beyond the function of a traditional bookmark. But now I get it; Pocket provides a way to monetize the functions provided by a bookmark.

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.

Link to Original Content

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

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