When Will Twitter Buy or Compete with Pocket?

A decent chunk of my blog posts are inspired by things that other people tweet that catch my eye. Recently @hunterwalk tweeted out about how Evernote or Twitter should buy my favorite read it later service, Pocket:

When I saw that tweet, I immediately thought that Twitter is a much more likely acquirer for Pocket than Evernote. While I love Evernote and use it every day, Pocket is all about links to content I want to read later and that’s how I use the service. That’s valuable information about my intent and interests.

You know who cares about the value of links as a measure of intent and interest? Twitter sure does. Look at their history of taking control of other people providing links to content shared on Twitter. They have a history of moving to take control of 3rd party services that are aggregating information about links and sharing activity:

-Bit.ly was replaced by t.co for link shortening
-Twitpic and yfrog gave way to native image sharing with pic.twitter
-I can only assume that Twitvid and others will eventually give way to Vine and some native video hosting or sharing service

I also think that Twitter cards are going to give Twitter even more insight into how people consume media objects on Twitter – they know the value in understanding how content is shared and consumed on their network.

Twitter doesn’t have its own version of a Read It Later service. As it has done with other services in the past, the Twitter client gives you the option to choose a Read It Later service. Twitter has already moved aggressively to control the content I consume and share in real time. The next frontier in better understanding my interests is in also understanding information that I find interesting but choose to consume later.

To be clear, Twitter has integrated Pocket into its core application, so it does get signal data on how often a given piece of content is saved on Twitter. They also get all of the data about other content I share via email or other services as well. But I think of Pocket as my personal newspaper and adding Pocket to Twitter’s arsenal of services would give them an even wider perspective on what Twitter users care about and read when they are not on Twitter. As someone who believes that Twitter will continue to focus on monetizing through interested-targeted advertising, knowing what I read and care about on and off Twitter is valuable interest targeting data and I can see why Twitter would value that.

As always, comments are open. Or you can message me on Twitter @chudson.