Year in Review: How we’re curating the web with you and our top Pocket features
All this year, we’ve been experimenting with features to help you discover articles and voices that are relevant to your interests, and better organize your lists so you can easily find the stories that fit your mood or your time available. We saw lots of users engaging with positive and meaningful content, which demonstrated to us that we were on the right path. Our annual Best of Pocket 2021 awards, which highlight the most-read and -shared stories this year, demonstrate the power of our Pocket community to curate a web that is worthy of time and attention. Today, we present the top Pocket features we worked on in 2021 that are making that possible.
Personalizing your new Home in Pocket
Historically, most of the content that people consume within Pocket starts with a save. You see a good story somewhere, save it to Pocket, and open the app later to read it. In the fall, we rolled out a Web-only beta launch of a fundamentally new experience within Pocket — a new “Home.” Currently available to users who log in to Pocket, Home is where you can find stories or sources that our content discovery team believes will be relevant to you. Plus, the more stories you save and the more you engage with Pocket, the better these recommendations will become. Unlike other recommendation sources, we always apply a human editorial layer to keep people from going down rabbit holes and ensuring high quality. In your new Home, we’ve added the following sections personalized for you:
- Recommended reads, just for you – This section is based on your recent saves in the last six months so it’s aimed at bringing you the articles you saved and want to read more about.
- Recent Saves – At the top of the new home page, there’s a section that shows your three recent saves so you can quickly access it. You’ll notice at the bottom of each of those recent saves we give you the option to show similar articles. For some articles, we have additional articles where you can dive deeper into that topic or theme.
In addition to these two new personalized features on the new Home in Pocket, we’re experimenting with showing you your top three most-saved topics and listing popular articles in each section. The topics include self improvement, career, business, tech, health and fitness, entertainment and more. You’ll also find Editors’ picks, which are curated by Pocket editors based on the most-saved and engaged with articles in Pocket, and a new section for our most-read Collections (more about Collections towards the end of this article).
We’ll be doing a lot to improve the Home experience in the coming months. We believe it will help you discover new things to read–right within Pocket. Here’s more on that:
Getting Pocket on Android organized for your high-quality reads
In the physical world, the act of organization is to help us strategically place things so we can easily get to them. In the kitchen, for example, we have the pots and pans close to the oven and the dishwasher right next to the sink. This year, we focused on creating features that help uncover the high-quality content you’ve already saved to your list in order to ultimately save you time, with new time-to-read filters and sorting options on our Android app. This month we’re releasing two new features that you can also find in our Android app: Viewed and Unviewed and Next and Previous. Here’s how these two new features will save you time:
- Get you faster to content with Viewed/Unviewed articles: Now, you no longer need to guess which articles you’ve read once you’ve saved them. From My List, all unviewed articles will be in bold. Once you’ve viewed the article, it will no longer be bold. We’ve also added three buttons — share, archive, and additional actions (represented as three vertical dots) — so that after you’ve finished reading your article you can send it to a friend, save it in your favorites, categorize it by tag or simply delete it.
- Moving forward with your Next article: From My List, once you’ve opened up an article, you’ll find the Next and Previous arrows at the bottom of your screen or when you scroll up. Tap the arrows to move you forward or backward within your list. These buttons help save you that unnecessary step of going back to My List.
Discover new voices and stories with our Pocket Collections
Over the past year, Pocket editors have partnered with subject-matter experts to curate hundreds of Pocket Collections, which allow users to explore and go deeper on topics that interest them in ways that algorithmic recommendations or results often don’t allow. Collections put the best of the web at users’ fingertips, on a wide variety of topics (How to start meditating. How to write (almost) anything. Managing Zoom brain. What’s worth reading about the climate report) by taking the guesswork out of trying to figure out and find what’s worth your time and attention.
You can now easily find all of our Collections on a dedicated tab and page, with new ones being published each week. (One of our most popular Collections even made our Most Read Articles in 2021: How to Talk to People You Disagree with.)
What’s ahead for 2022
Pocket has long been known as the go-to place to discover, save and spend time with great stories from around the web. As we look to the year ahead of us, we will continue to empower users to spend time with the stories that matters most to them and to help users discover the very best of the web.