Save-for-later service Pocket is testing out recommendations for the first time, introducing personalized picks for articles and videos into a public beta channel it is opening today. Pocket's 17 million registered users can sign up to join the beta program for Android, iOS, and the web. Once you're enrolled, you'll be able to use a beta version of the app that includes a Recommendations tab next to the list of content you've chosen to save yourself. "The idea is that they'll help you cut through the noise and make sure you don't miss stories you'd actually want to come back to," says Nate Weiner, the company's founder, in a blog post.
Recommendations represent a shift in thinking for 8-year-old Pocket, which began as a browser bookmarklet to save articles into a dedicated reading list. For years, Weiner saw Pocket as a place dedicated exclusively to the stories and videos that you explicitly decided to save. But now that users have saved more than 2 billion items, Pocket has good data about the stories that are most popular and interesting — and so the company has decided to test out recommendations. It's not the first to do this: rival Instapaper has long offered content recommendations of its own through the "browse" tab inside the app.
Weiner says much more is coming soon from Pocket, which raised a fresh $7 million this spring to expand its team. If you use Pocket daily to stay on top of the web, as I do, you may want to sign up for the beta app and get an early look.