Audience in the Pocket

Bell, Anderson and Shirky (2015) talk about the ‘restructuring of organizational models’ being vital to the survival of journalism in a business model sense. Let’s zoom in on one of those new structures.

Pocket is an app, before known as Read it Later. In 2012 the app was redesigned, but the idea remained the same: when you come across content you like, but you don’t have the time to read at the moment, you can save for later in the app. Also videos from youtube or vimeo can be downloaded to the app and saved for later.

Now you could do a SWOT-analysis on the app to see if Pocket is a fruitful way of restructuring the medialandscape. A strength of Pocket would definitely be that it’s easy to use, it has a pretty lay-out and you can use in on all devices with just one account, which is very comfortable. A weakness however is that not all content can be downloaded to Pocket. Not all articles, youtube- or vimeovideos can be downloaded, due to technical problems the app didn’t solve thus far. An opportunity thus lies in developing the app to an even higher technical level. A threat would be that the app gets too complicated to use. Already now there’s an option for following people on Pocket, connecting to twitter and connecting to facebook. In my opinion all these features are a threat to the app, which I think works best if it stays as simple as the idea sounds.

Pocket is surely not answering the more difficult questions of our time, like who a journalist is nowadays or the future of journalism as ideology, prompted by Burns and Matthews (2017). But I think apps such as Pocket can be helpful in keeping journalistic content accessible and relevant for a highly individualized audience.


Bell, E., Anderson, C. W. and Shirky, C. Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present. Geopolitics, History, and International
Relations 2 (2015), 32–123.

Burns, L.S. and Matthews, B.J. Post-Industrial Journalism as a Creative Industry. International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering 11(6) (2017), 1543-1551.

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