Category Archives: Useful sites

Instapaper Relaunched Instapaper Premium



Instapaper announced that they are relaunching Instapaper Premium. They also are bringing Instapaper to European Union users.

In July of 2018, Instapaper announced that they had gone independent after entering into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc.

InstaPaper Premium is a subscription for $2.99/month or $29.99/year that offers the following features:

  • Full-text search for all articles in your account
  • Unlimited Notes
  • Text-to-Speech playlists on mobile
  • Speed reading to get through all of your articles up to 3x faster
  • An ad-free Instapaper website
  • “Send to Kindle” using a bookmarklet on Instapaper’s mobile apps

If you decide not to subscribe to Instapaper Premium, you will continue with a standard free account without access to Premium features.

In the blog post, Instapaper also announced that they are making Instapaper accessible to EU users.

Additionally, today we are bringing back Instapaper to European Union users. Over the past two months we have taken a number of actions to address the General Data Protection Regulation, and we are happy to announce our return to the European Union.

Instapaper updated their privacy policy to include rights afforded to EU users under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Instapaper is Going Independent



Instapaper announced that they are going independent. As you may recall, Instapaper joined Pinterest in 2016. A few years before that, betaworks acquired Instapaper from Marco Arment.

Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc., a new company owned and operated by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper since it was sold to betaworks by Marco Arment in 2013. The ownership will occur after a 21 day waiting period designed to give our users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.

Instapaper says that not much is changing for the product outside of the new ownership. Instapaper will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. They plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and reading experience for the foreseeable future.

With Pinterest’s support, Instapaper was able to rebuild search, introduce an extension for Firefox, make a variety of optimizations for the latest mobile operating systems, and more.


Wikispaces Says Farewell



Wikispaces has been around since 2005. It is used by educators, companies, and individuals across the globe. Those who are currently using Wikispaces need to find an alternative soon. Wikispaces has announced that it is time for them to say farewell.

Over the last twelve months we have been carrying out a complete technical review of the infrastructure and software we use to serve Wikispaces users. As part of the review, it became apparent that the required investment to bring the infrastructure and code in line with modern standards is very substantial. We have explored all possible options for keeping Wikispaces running but have had to conclude that it is no longer viable to continue to run the service in the long term. So, it is with no small degree of nostalgia, that we will begin to close down later this year.

Wikispace is going to undertake a phased shutdown approach. This is being done to regulate the system load on the export tool as users depart from Wikispaces. If you have stuff on Wikispaces that you want to keep, it appears you should begin making use of the export tool as soon as possible.

Scheduled Closure dates:

  • Classroom and Free Wikis end of service: July 31, 2018
  • Plus and Super Wikis end of service: September 30, 2018
  • Private Label Wikis end of service: January 31st 2019

Storify is Reaching its “End-Of-Life”



Storify was designed to help the voices online that matter, and to make the web tell a story. It was co-founded by Burt Herman and Xavier Damman. Storify has announced that it is reaching its “End-of-Life”, and will no longer be available after May 16, 2018.

As of December 12, 2017, no new Storify.com accounts can be created. It will no longer be possible to submit requests for bug fixes to either Storify or Zendesk. No new or existing bug fixes will be addressed.

Existing Storify customers will be able to continue using all capabilities of the service until May 16, 2018 – except for the ability to create new stories (which will only be available for a limited time.) That ability will end on May 1, 2018. Storify recommends that existing Storify users export any content that they would like to keep by May 16, 2018, by using the export functionality in Storify.

Storify points out that existing Storify users might want to gain access to Storify 2 (after Storify shuts down). Storify 2 is a feature of Livefyre, which requires a Livefyre license.


Flattr will Launch a New Version Soon



Flattr was designed to help people sustainably fund the content that they love. It lets people reward their favorite creators, and it gives creators an easy way to make money from their work. Flattr will launch a new version on October 24, 2017.

The Flattr button is history. It is being replaced with a privacy-friendly algorithm. Instead of clicking a button to give money to your favorite content creators, Flattr users will need to install the Flattr browser extension, which will automatically flattr the websites you visit, based on engagement.

Flattr is also moving from their wallet system and to a system of credit card subscription payments. They feel this change simplifies the communication around the details of using Flattr. When the new Flattr is launched, it will require USD currency (instead of the Euro that Flattr was previously accepting.) Creators will receive money from Flattr in US dollars starting from October.

The subscriptions are going to run for 30 days instead of per calendar month. This change appears to be to benefit creators. Previously, new creators were starting with less than a full month. This change also helps Flattr, because it spreads out the timing of payments to creators instead of having it all happen at the same time.

Flattr is also changing its fee structure. Creators that receive money will be charged a monthly fee of 7.5%. They also will be charged a payment processing fee of 9%. This change is being done because Flattr changed to US currency and implemented a credit card based subscription – and this caused their payment processing fees to increase.


Instapaper Restored After Extended Outage



If you use Instapaper, you may have noticed that it recently experienced an extended outage.  The outage began on February 8, at 12:30 PM PT. Instapaper announced the outage in a blog post on February 9, 2017.

After spending multiple hours on the phone with our cloud service provider, it appears we hit a system limit for our hosted database that’s preventing new articles from being saved. At this time, our only option is to export all data from our old database and import it into a new one.

Instapaper expected that their service would be fully recovered on February 9. In the meantime, Instapaper assured its users “we haven’t lost any data.” It let people know that “anything you’ve already saved to Instapaper is safe.”

In a follow-up post on February 9, Instapaper reported that, after 31 hours of downtime, they were able to rebuild a database instance and get Instapaper back online. That being said, the full recovery would take time.

Users need to know that anything you’ve saved since December 30, 2016, is accessible. Instapaper is working on getting the rest of your articles restored. Again, Instapaper reassures people that there hasn’t been any data loss. The full database exports were taking longer than expected. They are aiming to have the full archives back up by February 17, 2017, at the latest.


Instapaper Premium is Now Free for Everyone



Instapaper logoInstapaper has announced that it is making Instapaper Premium available to all Instapaper users, free of charge. Previously, some of Instapaper’s greatest features were limited to Instapaper Premium subscribers.  Since then, Instapaper has joined Pinterest. The result is that Instapaper is now better resourced and able to offer Instapaper Premium for free.

All Instapaper users will now have access to:

  • An ad-free Instapaper website
  • Full-text search for all articles
  • Unlimited Notes
  • Text-to-speech playlists
  • Unlimited speed reading
  • “Send to Kindle” via bookmarklet and mobile apps
  • Kindle Digests of up to 50 articles

Those who are existing Instapaper Premium users will be offered prorated refunds for their current subscription. They will also no longer be billed for Instapaper Premium.