Mozilla Pockets a new app

Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser, now has a bookmarking app in its Pocket.

The not-for-profit corporation announced Monday that it’s acquired Read It Later, the startup behind Pocket, an app and web site that allows users to save articles and videos to be read or viewed at a later time. Already built into Firefox, Pocket is also available as an app for Android and Apple iOS devices and as a web-based service.

“We believe that the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content is key to keeping the internet healthy by fighting against the rising tide of centralization and walled gardens,” Chris Beard, Mozilla’s CEO, said in a statement. “Pocket provides people with the tools they need to engage with and share content on their own terms, independent of hardware platform or content silo.”

Through a spokeswoman, Denelle Dixon, Mozilla’s chief business and legal officer, declined to say how much the company paid for Read It Later. Dixon also declined to say how many employees Read It Later has, saying only that they would all be joining Mozilla.

The move is Mozilla’s first “strategic acquisition,” according to the company. Much of the company’s previous growth and and new products have come from internal development efforts or open source projects.

Mozilla plans to continue offering Pocket as a separate product. Mozilla plans to integrate the technology and team behind the app into its Context Graph initiative, an effort to highlight to users visiting particular web pages related pages and services based on where other users have gone before them.

The move comes as Mozilla is struggling to remain relevant. Its browser share has been declining since about the turn of the decade as consumers increasingly used smartphones — where Mozilla had little traction — to access the web and internet services. The company attempted to gain headway on mobile devices by developing its own smartphone operating system, but later abandoned that effort after seeing little uptake from smartphone makers.

Pocket’s app and web service. (Courtesy of Read It Later)


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