This week’s episode of Converge came with a revelation of the reason Pocket founder and CEO Nate Weiner sold his company to Mozilla, as well as information of a better version of the Facebook News Feed that he is working on for the Firefox browser. Pocket is a platform that allows people to save articles and videos that they discover on the internet for use at a later time. As of now, the platform has a home within the Mozilla Firefox browser where it will serve as the engine that will be making recommendations to 50 million individuals on a monthly basis. CEO Nate Weiner is of the opinion that the company can get to show the best that the internet has to offer in a personalized manner to people through analysis of the articles and videos that they save into Pocket without the need to build a profile for the user.
In the words of Weiner, “We’re testing this really cool personalization system within Firefox where it uses your browser history to target personalized [recommendations], but none of that data actually comes back to Pocket or Mozilla. It all happens on the client, inside the browser itself. There is this notion today… I feel like you saw it in the Zuckerberg hearings. It was like, ‘Oh, users. They will give us their data in return for a better experience. That’s the premise, right? And yes, you could do that. But we don’t feel like that is the required premise. There are ways to build these things where you don’t have to trade your life profile in order to actually get a good experience.”
Pocket can make analysis of which articles and videos on the internet that are shared and those ones that are read or watched. With time, the company gets an understanding of which links provide high-quality content that both Pocket and Firefox users could enjoy.
Sometime later, Weiner expects to provide publishers with an opportunity to reach new audiences and at the same gain revenue sources to aid journalism. He said, “We want to be able to create something that’s good for all the parties that are involved. And it’s going to take some time.”