Keeping Instapaper Alive

I got an email this week from Instapaper, with an announcement that they’re bringing back their Premium subscription model. Upon reading the email, I felt a major twinge of subscription fatigue1 yet still almost pulled out my wallet to start yet another subscription. However, when I scanned the list of Premium features, it turned out that I don’t need the Premium version. Usually, when I scan the list, I find that I need all those nice, pay-only features.

A screen-snip from the blog post about Instapaper’s news

My Main Use for Instapaper

As I’ve mentioned before, my main usage for Instapaper is for offline reading, and it’s an important part of my dumbed-down smartphone setup. I want to be able to read some things while on the go, but I don’t want an endless feed. So Instapaper has become the “reading list” that I go to, and it’s definitely the best because of the highlighting feature. I’ve tried Highly and maybe a few others, but I feel like Instapaper has the most seamless experience, and I’m especially please that they have an API so I can use a IFTTT to sync those specific highlights to my Day One journal. You know, I like that feature so much that I’ve wished I could do it with paper books. But obviously, I can’t.

Free Is Fine

Other than the highlighting feature, Instapaper is simply another “read it later” service, but still (in my opinion) one of the best. From my initial read on their comparison page between Free and Premium, I don’t actually need any of the Premium features, so I’m planning to stick with the free version for now. As much as I’d like to support the folks at Instapaper, I’m paying for too many subscriptions right now. And I’ll probably need to go through some fall cleaning to purge them out like I did last year.

  1. Turns out that “subscription fatigue” isn’t a term I made up; others have referred to it in the past. It usually happens when a service/software that was free or “pay once” moves to the subscription model, and you wonder whether you need to pay or move on…