Mozilla buys Pocket: Do you try to gain more ground in the mobile world?
Little while ago news broke: Mozilla has bought Pocket, and with it its 10 million users. From the company responsible for Firefox, the acquisition was described as a strategic purchase, and the application formerly known as Read It Later will continue to operate as a subsidiary of the Firefox company.
For now is unknown the sum that Mozilla has paid, but you have to keep in mind that it is the first acquisition of the responsible for Firefox and Thunderbird. It is, moreover, a kind of welcome, since the service had been working as a Firefox extension for a long time. However, why have they bought this kind of item safe? Well as they point in The Verge, to gain ground in the mobile market.
And we must not forget that, although Firefox has long been an application for Android and iOS, fails to get into mobile devices, where currently only has a 0.58% market share. On the other hand, the decline of users experienced in desktop since 2015 also does not help to have a clearer idea of what will happen to their immediate future.
Pocket comes to the Mozilla ecosystem with more than 10 million active users monthly as already mentioned, as well as a set of existing and potential business lines in which Mozilla could get into. These include advertising, a premium subscription service, and analytics services for publishers.
In addition, unlike other mobile products that Mozilla has, users seem to enjoy the experience of using Pocket. Denelle Dixon, head of Mozilla’s business, said the following regarding the acquisition:
We love the way they maintain that “user first” mentality, very similar to the way we guide our products. [The purchase] has not been just about how much revenue you can get with your product.
Pocket was already willing on the subject of acquisitions six years ago, when Evernote wanted to buy Read It Later. By then Pocket CEO Nate Weiner rejected the offer of note application when it became apparent that they were to become a feature within the main application, rather than remaining a standalone product.
On the other hand, at that time it was not clear that Pocket could become a big business . Today and with the already cited 10 million users, the application is small by today’s standards of the mobile era, especially for a company that is building on a business model supported by advertising. We remember that six months ago Pinterest bought Instapaper, Pocket’s main rival.
What is Pocket’s immediate future?
The service was able to raise $ 14.5 million from various investors, including the publishing groups Great Valley Publishing and Axel Springer. His 25-person team will continue to work independently from his San Francisco office. So, why sell now? Nate Weiner explains it to us in his own words:
We have always had this “test of fire” we use against Evernote: will this allow us to accomplish our mission by being bigger, better and faster? No one had reviewed that before. But with Mozilla it is very clear that with the extraoridinarios resources that they have, the scale to which it moves at global level and the misicón that we share together, we are made to understand us.
Pocket will not make any major changes to your product or business model over the course of this year. With timepo, Mozilla expects Pocket to assist them in what they call their “content graph” initiative , an operation to build a “recommendation engine” for the web, and integrate it into the browser. After all, Pocket is a kind of browser for things you have saved, as well as recommendations from friends of yours or people you follow. There are now 3,000 million objects saved, according to the company.
Weiner has long been promoting Pocket’s ability to identify high-quality articlesand videos by the number of times they are saved, read, viewed, and shared. It is easy to imagine that this index will soon become part of Mozilla’s recommendation algorithms, and deploy them on a much larger scale than the service could have done on its own.
Mozilla: “Pocket is key for Internet to be healthy”
As Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla , said about the acquisition of Pocket on Mozilla’s blog :
We believe that the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content is key to keeping Internet healthy by fighting against increased centralization and walled gardens. Pocket offers people the tools they need to interact and share content according to their own rules, regardless of hardwere or content silo for a safer, more powerful and independent online experience.
From The Verge point out that it is difficult to take seriously that an application that takes something from the Internet, removes the ads and places it inside a native application on a mobile phone can contribute to the health of the Internet. What Pocket does, according to the medium, is to turn the web into something more useful. But you have a long way to go until you can ensure that it contributes to improving your health.
What Nate Weiner says to Firefox is that Pocket can expand the reach of high-quality journalism on a larger scale :
In a world where we are buried in content, where it has become increasingly difficult to separate the signal from the noise, the truth of fiction, and even discuss the value of our press and written word, we need a platform where high content quality, thinking and promoting freedom of expression can be raised above the rest.
Despite these messianic words and everything that Mozilla and Pocket say, we still have to see what it really means to each other from a financial and technological point of view . For that we still have no answers, time will tell.