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Instapaper is an application aimed at time-shifting the consumption of online content, including journalism. It was launched in 2008 by developer Marco Arment, who at the time was the lead developer of Tumblr, and was bought in 2013 by Betaworks.

Instapaper allows users to click a bookmarklet whenever they come across an article they would like to read later; typical candidates include long magazine articles. Once clicked, the article is stripped of ads and clutter, saved on Instapaper’s servers, and made available for offline reading in Instapaper’s iPhone and iPad apps. Instapaper also connects to Amazon’s Kindle.

Instapaper is perhaps the most popular of a number of services aimed at encouraging long-form reading, including Read It Later, Readability, and Longreads.

Instapaper and its ilk have encouraged some news organizations to experiment with less cluttered reading environments, although they have also been controversial for some because of their extraction of content from its surrounding advertisements. Readability, in response, has created a program for publishers that pays them a small amount when their articles are read within the service.

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Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Oct. 30, 2015 / Joseph Lichterman
Can’t finish a New Yorker story online? The magazine will now send you an email reminder to come back — For as long as The New Yorker has existed, its readers have lamented not being able to get through everything in the magazine. Everyone from The Onion to Thought Catalog has addressed the scourge of an unread stack of ma...
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From Instapaper to newspaper: PaperLater wants to put your saved articles onto newsprint — There’s a kind of unspoken promise that comes along with any delayed reading service: At some point, you’ll have time to read this really great thing. But as anyone who has stared into the void of an Instapap...
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This Week in Review: Fuzzy math at newspapers, and more opposition to Kochs’ media plans — Newspapers’ digital subscriptions jump: Newspapers’ biannual circulation reports came out this week, and there were a couple of ways to read them. The New York Times went the glass-half-full route, emphasizin...
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Primary author: Joshua Benton. Main text last updated: October 2, 2013.
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