Instapaper will start offering its service ad-free to everyone, no longer requiring a monthly subscription as of Nov. 1.
This means that all Instapaper Premium features, including speed-reading and full-text article searches, will be available to all users free of charge.
This major move for Instapaper is most likely fueled by its new parent company: Pinterest acquired Instapaper back in August and the new leadership is apparently ready to shake things up a bit.
Up until now, Instapaper supported itself by charging $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year for subscriptions. However, this premium model restricted some of the app's best features to a paywall, making it more difficult to compete against popular rival Pocket.
The new free-for-all model could give Instapaper a significant edge, especially since Pocket is still charging for some premium features. For instance, while Instapaper now offers ad-free browsing and full-text searches for free, Pocket places these features behind a paywall.
Considering that Instapaper and Pocket are not all that different, being able to access Instapaper's full suite of features for free might convince more users to switch over from Pocket.
"Opening Instapaper Premium is something we've always wanted to do, and we're thrilled to give everyone the very best Instapaper experience," notes Instapaper.
It remains to be seen how Instapaper will support itself from now on without ads, subscriptions or any charges, but the blog post announcement does note that now that it's "better resourced" it can offer everything free of charge. Will Pinterest's pockets be deep enough to support it?
Then again, Pinterest would have likely kept the paid subscriptions if Instapaper brought in some substantial revenue, but Instapaper probably didn't make much out of its premium subscriptions anyway.
Either way, all users can now start enjoying all Instapaper features without having to pay a single dime. Those who have already paid for an Instapaper Premium subscription, meanwhile, will get a prorated refund and will no longer be billed for their subscription.
"All users will continue to have an ad-free Instapaper app experience, and we're eliminating ads on the web entirely," adds Instapaper.
Pinterest has yet to share any monetization plans for Instapaper, but it surely has a strategy in mind to make it worthwhile. With Instapaper now freemium all the way, competition is bound to heat up and Pocket will soon start facing some pressure.
Have you used Instapaper or Pocket so far? If so, which do you prefer, especially now with Instapaper dropping all subscription fees? Let us know in the comments section below.