A More Social Instapaper  

Lex Friedman makes the case for a more social Instapaper:

But I tap that heart icon within the app fairly often on content I believe is worth sharing, and I don’t know if I’m doing that for essentially no reason. If I knew who were following me, or how many people were following me, I could have a better sense of whether it’s even worth it for me to recommend articles, or if I’m just whistling in the wind. I feel like Instapaper empowers me and my friends to become mini curators in our own right, and I like that.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to manage (or at least look at) yet another following count on the Internet, but I believe that Instapaper could leverage some of the data at its disposal (people names and relationships, most saved URLs, related items based on people, likes, or other patterns) to make its Friends feature just a little deeper.

I, for one, think it’d be great to have something like a “Picks of the Week” section that highlights articles your friends read the most in the past seven days. Or, perhaps, like Lex says, an Amazon-like “people who read this also read” list of articles I might be interested in.

Marco explained last year how he made Instapaper “anti-social” by leaving the social features to social networks, and trying to make Instapaper a better product. I think some of Lex’s suggestions could make for a better Instapaper without preventing it from being a “quiet escape from the social networks”.

 
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