Pocket is releasing an update to its app today that puts a new focus on helping you discover the best of the items you have saved, using algorithms to surface content likely to interest you the most. Pocket 5.0 searches through your saves to find articles that are trending, longform content, and other items that you're likely to enjoy based on your interests.
The company designed the Highlights feature after discovering that the average user has more than 100 items saved, said Nate Weiner, Pocket's founder and CEO. After the 30th item in your list, he said, less than 5 percent of items get opened. "It just ends up being this total jumble," he said at a press event today in San Francisco. Highlights tries to find the best items saved inside a long list by by adapting to each user according to the person's interests, most used tags, and favorites sites and authors.
Pocket users save more than 1.5 million items a day
The company also released a developer tool called Pocket Preferences that can integrate the service with third-party apps and pre-populate the app with your interests. Log into the newsreader Zite, for example, and the app will automatically generate a list of articles based on the articles you have previously saved to Pocket. Preferences are generated automatically and are also dynamic, so that if you suddenly stopped saving items about a particular subject (weddings, for example, after the big day), they will drop out of your list automatically. Preferences is available for Zite now and will be coming to other apps soon, Weiner said; a developer API is now available.
Pocket has been used by more than 10 million people who now save 1.5 million items a day, the company said. Version 5.0 is out for iPhone and iPad today and on Android Nov. 20. It will come to other platforms "soon," Weiner said. The Highlights feature will roll out to users over the next week or so, he said.
With today's update, the company takes another step towards building its vision of a service that connects every screen we use through its app. At its press event today, Pocket partners including Twitter, Evernote, Yahoo, and IFTTT showed up to learn about the latest version of the app. If those developers and others adopt Pocket Preferences as their preferred way of signing up new users, it could go a long way toward getting Pocket to its goal.