Pocket wants to build a save button for the Internet, and with over 2 billion items saved to the service the company is now turning to personalization as a way to entice users to save more to get more out of it.
Today, Pocket founder Nate Weiner has announced a public beta of Pocket for iOS, Android, and the web, featuring a new Recommendations feature to receive new items similar to what has been saved in the main list.
As Weiner writes:
Recommendations live alongside your List, and will surface the top content from the billions of items saved to Pocket, based on what you already save, read, watch and share. 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.
The "problem" with save-for-later apps like Instapaper and Pocket is that there's simply too much good stuff to read or watch on the Internet these days. The abundance of great content from indie blogs, large publications, Medium, YouTube, and aggregators such as Longform, Digg, and Techmeme has led to a paradox: without restraint, the very benefit of save-for-later apps becomes the reason why you're not reading or watching anything in your queue anymore. There's just too much to choose from. Where do you begin?
This is why big services are moving towards curation and recommendations. A personalized set of recommended items delivered at just the right moment can potentially remove the pressure of choosing from a list of hundreds of items (or, in the case of music, millions of songs).
It'll be interesting to see how Pocket will balance the need to keep saving to build up personalized recommendations with effortless discovery of articles and videos through the new section. You can sign up for the iOS beta here.