Home Tech Instapaper vs Pocket – Which Should You Use?

Instapaper vs Pocket – Which Should You Use?

Instapaper and pocket are prominent read-it-later apps that might appear similar. It can be hard to differentiate between the two and the user may be unclear as to which one to pick.

Both Instapaper and Pocket give you a wide range of elective options and they perform simple tasks like saving the web articles for reading at a later time. It covers popular desktop browsers like Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome as their extensions. 

The Instapaper and Pocket Apps on the Android and iOS devices use the extension that is used through the share sheet menu. If you choose to listen to the reading of articles, you can choose Pocket.

On the other hand, if you want to write notes along with the highlights, Instapaper is a better choice. In this article, we will help you to pick the app that best suits your requirements.

Instapaper vs Pocket – Is One Better Than the Other

Common Features:-

When you come across an article that you are unable to read as it is lengthy and you don’t have the time to read it at that particular moment as you are busy doing something else.

You prefer to read it once you are free or when you have leisure time, this is when read-it-later apps come in handy. By making use of the browser extension or the share function that is available on your device, the article can be sent to Instapaper

Instapaper vs Pocket

The article will be downloaded in a text-friendly manner and can be read even without the Internet. The articles can also be sorted into folders or they can also be read aloud if you want to listen to the article. This is interesting if you prefer to read the articles or any stories in your free time. 

Pocket gives more emphasis on flexible organization and research. It can be used as a simple reading list along with several other features to collect information on huge projects.

Instead of folders, the Pocket uses a tagging system where the articles can be sorted into several categories and they could be easily found later.

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

The copies of the links will be downloaded by using Pocket premium. This is beneficial in the sense that the user can retain the information for his reference.

It can be used as a reference tool or for casual reading. Both these platforms are designed as a simple reading app where the link can be saved for reading at a later time.

Instapaper and Pocket web versions work well on both mobile devices and desktops. On the home screen, the list of all the saved articles is beautifully designed via Instapaper and Pocket.

Instapaper has a newspaper approach and Pocket has a modern approach. The navigation for both the apps consists of linked or favorite articles, archives, videos, Browse or discover. 

Instapaper vs Pocket – Platforms

Both these apps support similar platforms. There are apps for iOS, Android, and websites that enable you to read the article that is saved. The browser extensions are also available for browsers like Safari and Chrome.

The articles can be saved and read at a later time on your device. There is a Kindle app available for Amazon’s Readers that allows the user to read text-based versions from your saved articles.

They can also be easily downloaded and transferred through USB. The articles can be read even when you don’t have an internet connection or when you are away from the Wi-Fi. On the Kindle fire, the pocket is available as a Standard Android app.

Instapaper vs Pocket – Highlighting

Instapaper and Pocket permit the highlighting that comes with a caveat. Up to five highlights in a month can be made by using the free version of Instapaper.

Whereas with the Pocket app, three highlights per article are possible. If you have upgraded to premium, the number of highlights has no limit.

Instapaper vs Pocket 2

Pocket - App Review for Web Clipping Fun

In addition to the highlights, the Instapaper contains notes that allow the user to write down the notes or the thoughts on the highlights. This option is not available in Pocket software. This can be the main reason to decide whether to go with Instapaper or Pocket.

In Instapaper, the highlights can be shared as images that come in handy for social media platforms like Twitter and others. The Pocket app does not provide this option.

Instapaper vs Pocket – Reading Appearance

The text appearances can be adjusted according to your preference in Instapaper and Pocket. The colors, fonts, margins, height, etc can be upgraded in the premium feature of Pocket software. 

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

Both Instapaper and Pocket have basic reading features where the user can choose from a variety of options. They have the sepia color schemes, dark, light, forming the custom brightness setting while reading, the font options are also available. 

Instapaper has multiple fonts to choose from whereas Pocket has only one serif and sans-serif font. IOS devices have more font options than Android devices.

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

Instapaper and Pocket allow the users to download the articles from the websites to read at their own convenient time like when they are on a trip. They can do so even if there is no internet connection available. 

Instapaper vs Pocket – Tagging

The difference between Instapaper and Pocket apps can be spotted by using the tagging feature. Multiple tags can be added while you save an article to the Pocket app, but Instapaper lets you save on a single folder.

Suppose you want to save an article, while you save the article to the pocket, tags like ycombinator or startup can be added. But in Instapaper, either ycombination or startup can be added to one folder.

Instapaper vs Pocket – Aesthetics

Instapaper and Pocket have many similarities in Aesthetics as they both depict clean interfaces on mobile and web. Instapaper is much simpler and minimalist.

Other than the blue selected tabs and article images, it is black and white that does not have another color. Pocket has more gradient color accents with more cheerful options. 

Instapaper vs Pocket – Customization

Both the apps Instapaper and Pocket offer more customized options like selection of a variety of fonts, indentation, line spacing, and selection of background colors.

Pocket has a simple strategy when it comes to customization to choose between two free fonts and three background theme colors. More font options require more premium to be paid.

The Pocket Website has a customization feature that is not available for Instapaper where switching the display of the articles that are saved gives more emphasis on the article images. On the mobile app for both Instapaper and Pocket, the list view is the only choice. 

Instapaper vs Pocket – Organization

There is also a difference between how these apps arrange the saved articles.  A simple folder is used to arrange the saved articles in Instapaper.

It is similar to the folders that are organized on a desktop computer. Folders can be created within Instapaper and you can just drag and drop the articles from the home page into these created folders.

The purpose of such folders is to store the saved articles. Subfolders cannot be created unlike on desktop. Pocket makes use of tagging for organizing the articles. Custom tags can be added to each article.

The purpose of adding a custom tag is to easily locate the article with the help of these tags under the tags tab. For extensive research projects where there are several topics, the Pocket is preferred.

The level of organizing the articles is limited in Instapaper as the user can add a subfolder into it, thus making it difficult to categorize multiple topic articles. An article can be easily tagged with multiple tags by using pocket, it helps the user to locate the article by using these tags.

Both the apps Instapaper and Pocket work well to save the web articles for reading at a later time. If you are looking for an in-depth organizational research system then you can better choose Pocket as the option.

Instapaper vs Pocket – Speed Reading

Instapaper has an extraordinary speed reading feature where the texts of an article display one word at a time. The speed of this feature can be regulated between two hundred to six fifty words per minute.

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

The free users can enjoy reading about ten articles in a month whereas the premium users can enjoy unlimited reading of articles. This is one of the unique features available in Instapaper but is not available in the Pocket app.

The feature is accessible on the web but is not available on the Instapaper app for free. If you upgrade to premium, you can enjoy using this feature on your phone. You don’t find this element in Pocket, Instapaper is a better choice for speed reading. 

Instapaper vs Pocket – Text to speech

With the Pocket app, the user can read the articles aloud while you are connected to the internet. But when the internet connection is lost, you can no longer listen to the article that is being read. When you read every new article, you must reconnect with the new article.

The pocket reading features come free. The Instapaper too has text-to-speech options with some limitations.

Both these apps have text-to-speech options that allow the user to listen to the articles like in a podcast. This feature is free in pocket whereas in Instapaper it must be paid.

In the Pocket app, the user can fast forward or rewind the audio and select the narrator’s voice. It is certainly an improvement over the default robot voice.

It comes free for Pocket users, while the text to audio feature comes with a price for Instapaper users as the option is available only for premium users. When it comes to converting the text to audio, the pocket is the highlight.

Instapaper vs Pocket – Discover and share

Tabs are available for discovering the new articles in both Instapaper and Pocket. In Instapaper, there are restrictions to the number of recommended articles at the browse tab. Whereas pocket has several or multiple articles that are frequently updated.

There are also social aspects present in every service that it provides. Instapaper lets the user find friends through social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter and also shares the articles with them.

The same feature is available in the Pocket where friends can be located using social media platforms or through the contact list. It also lets the user share their reading with friends.


A separate video tab is available to save the Vimeo and YouTube videos at the same place where the articles have been saved. Pocket is more competent at saving videos.

Instapaper vs Pocket 6

While you save a YouTube video link in your pocket it enables you to extract the thumbnail and video title. But when the same link is saved in Instapaper, it only replaces the title with the URL.

It did not extract the title or thumbnail. This might make things more complicated while watching the saved links as you will not be knowing which video belongs to which link.

Despite Pocket being on the higher side when it comes to viewing the videos, in both the apps Instapaper and Pocket videos cannot be downloaded for offline viewing.

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

So, this feature does not make much difference in choosing between the two apps as it is not a determining factor to consider. 

Search Features:-

The article titles can be searched by using the free version of pocket. To enable the full-text search option, you must upgrade the app. Limited search is allowed on Instapaper on the mobile whereas the free version is not available on the web.

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

If it is upgraded the user can search full text on both mobile and web. Pocket offers limited free search, but there is no free search in Instapaper. Certain unique features can be enjoyed by the users for free, but the search experience comes with a price.

 In the free version, the pocket allows the user to search the title or any URL of the saved articles for free. The advanced features in search must be paid for. The full text, keywords, specific tags for the articles can be searched using the premium option.

Instapaper has restrictions for search, in Instapaper premium the advanced search tools are also available, where you can filter the results, sort by date, find the matches, etc. The tag search feature is more helpful to locate organized articles. 

Subscriptions and Prices:-

Instapaper comes as a cheaper option. The annual subscription is thirty dollars whereas it is forty-five for a Pocket subscription.

With the higher price, the pocket premium comes with better features. The Instapaper and Pocket’s free and premium editions had plenty of features to offer to its users. 

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

Both the platforms offer free versions. But if you want to make an unlimited number of highlights while reading, then the premium would make a better choice.

Pocket allows for backup of all the saved articles even if the links are not accessible. It also has features like suggested tags, full-text search, etc.

In Instapaper, certain features like speed reading, full-text search are available if you upgrade to premium.

Instapaper vs Pocket - Which Should You Use?

Instapaper is cheaper whereas the Pocket app provides more options for the users. In the free version, Instapaper allows the user to save unlimited videos or articles, create folders, etc. Pocket also has these features but comes with a slightly higher price, 

Should I go for Instapaper or Pocket? 

Even though both Instapaper and pocket look similar, it has certain differences, hence the user has to choose between the two depending upon his requirements.

Suppose you frequently make notes as you read, Instapaper can be a better choice for you. If you are more into podcasts, like to listen rather than read, go for Pocket.

If you are looking at the price, then Instapaper would be a good choice. As these are read-it-later apps, it helps the user to retain his reading habit as reading the saved web articles in your own leisure time can be enjoyable. 

Being a passive reader to save the web articles for future use, you can make use of any platform like Pocket or Instapaper as both of them have their unique features. Instapaper is much simpler to use.

If you want only the free option without spending on a paid premium version, but at the same time want to enjoy certain features, go for the pocket as it has several features in its free version like highlighting, search capability, text to speech, etc.

Both platforms have different aspects to offer to their users. So, think about which feature you need in a save for a later app before making a decision. 

You can also check out this Awesome explanation about both apps.

Instapaper vs Pocket | Which One Is Better for You in 2021?


Is Instapaper any good?

Instapaper’s highlight option can be beneficial. The same goes for the notes; you can use five/monthly without paying. People like to highlight or make notes of the article when they read.

Is Instapaper still alive?

Pinterest acquired Instapaper on 23rd August 2016. The service is still functional, and the Instapaper staff operates for the development of both brands.

How much does Instapaper cost?

The cost of Instapaper may range from $2.99/per month to $29.99/per month. You will likely receive functions like text search, limitless notes, text-to-speech, ad-free websites, and speed reading.

Does Pocket still exist?

Pocket has been in vogue since 2017. It was previously known as Read It Later and began as an extension for firefox. It was acquired by Mozilla in 2017 when it became its own app.

Can you use Instapaper offline?

Instapaper allows reading and saving anything from anywhere. It enables users to operate offline. It will sync all your articles on devices like iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle.

Does Pocket work offline?

Yes, Pocket lets the user access any content through any device, even offline. You will not require an internet connection, especially on the flight. Offline access is an advantage that comes with using Pocket.

Does Instapaper have a Desktop app?

Storyvoid is an Instapaper app used for windows 10. You can read and save all articles using this through your Instapaper account. You can do this using both offline and online modes.

Can I send a PDF to Instapaper?

No, Instapaper does not support PDFs at present.

Where are Pocket files stored?

The Pocket links that you save are stored on Pocket’s server. In short, it uses cloud technology to keep its information. You can access your saved links if connected to any device through your Pocket account.

How do I use Instapaper on Chrome?

You can use the Instapaper browser extension if you want to use Instapaper through the chrome browser. All you need to do is click the ‘I’ while seeing an article. This way, you can read the article later on Instapaper.


The Internet has too many reading articles. The read-it-later apps allow the user to save the articles from the website for later use. You can download the web articles to read at your convenient time and organize them for research.

Both Instapaper and Pocket, the read-it-later apps offer different features for the users that are already discussed above. Instapaper and Pocket are popular read-it-later apps.

They might appear similar initially and the user may be confused as to which platform to choose from. But, this article has given in-depth knowledge of both these apps so that the user can better understand which platform to select.