Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him on Google+.
Shedding the Read It Later moniker and adapting its save-it-later service to encompass all forms of media back in April, Pocket has been on a tear over the course of 2012.
The service has seen its user base nearly double, rising from 4.5 million users in April to 7.4 million today. Between January and December, items have been saved more then 240 million times, more than four times the amount saved to the service over the previous four years combined.
It’s not surprising; Pocket re-launched with brand new apps available on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire and all Android-based tablets and smartphones. Since then, it has added a dedicated Mac app and introduced browser extensions for Chrome and Safari, which have seen over 40 updates this year combined.
Oh, and it released a new SDK to developers, closed its first publisher partnership with Kickstarter-funded media outlet Matter, and raised $5 million in a new round of funding led by Foundation Capital, Baseline Ventures and Google Ventures.
As we come to the end of 2012, Pocket is doing exactly what a service of its kind should be doing – highlighting the most popular content that its users have saved and shared over the year, creating a slick infographic to illustrate its metrics (embedded below).
What was the most-saved article of 2012? Showing the importance of US politics, Michael Lewis’ “Obama’s Way” piece on the President of the United States in Vanity Fair that ranked top.
Pocket says that its users helped share it wider after it was first published, noting that “80 percent of all ‘opens’ in Pocket happened after the story’s initial four-day rush of popularity—and for every one person who read “Obama’s Way” in Pocket, they introduced the article to an average of 1.4 others outside of Pocket.”
It was followed by the NYT’s Tim Kreider’s piece “The Busy Trap” and the epic hacking story posted by Wired’s Mat Honan, who found his Apple devices wiped and accounts compromised. In fact, three of Honan’s stories are listed in Pocket’s Top 10 articles, possibly making him the most popular writer on Pocket.
What about the most-saved video? Considering it’s about to become the first YouTube video to pass 1 billion views, PSY’s Gangnam Style unsurprisingly tops the charts. According to Pocket, the video remained “within 50% of its peak popularity in Pocket for a whopping 58 days” and didn’t even peak until 70 days after it was first saved to the service.
In second place is Salman Khan’s TED talk “Let’s use video to reinvent education,” followed by Bret Victor’s “Inventing on Principle.”
You can read the top ten most-saved articles and videos on Pocket’s blog.
While most users access Pocket on their computer (28 percent), Apple’s iOS is the most popular mobile platform overall with 37 percent of users using an iPhone (21 percent) or iPad (16 percent). Android follows closely with 35 percent overall, smartphones leading the way with a 25 percent share and tablets with 10 percent.
Demonstrating the rise in sales of connected devices, 75 percent of active Pocket users use two or more apps to connect with the save-it-later service.
With 10.4 items saved to Pocket every second, the service continues to go from strength to strength. It’s been a good year for bookmarking/read-it-later apps and tools and that momentum looks set to carry on into 2013.
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