Instapaper part 3: How to use the app.

20 Nov

In this section, I will give a detailed description of how to use the application. Instapaper is relatively easy to use, and I will be describing its function as a web application rather than an iPhone app (as I do not own an iPhone). Its purpose is to allow individuals to be able to easily save online pages for later reading, no matter what website one is on. After creating an account, which requires nothing more than one’s email address and a password for the site, a user has full access to the features of the site.

1. To be able to save a webpage on the accounts’ database, the user must drag a bookmarklet from the homepage that says “Read Later” into their bookmarks toolbar. Alternately, on Internet Explorer, one must right-click the bookmarklet and choose “Add to Favorites”. Here is an example:

© 2008-2011 Instapaper, LLC.

2. After that, whenever a user is on a page that they would like to save for later reading, they can just click on the “Read Later” bookmarklet that will appear in the bookmarks or Favorites toolbar. This will save the page to your Instapaper account indefinetly.

© 2008-2011 Instapaper, LLC.

I know it seems way too simple, but that is the beauty of this application! Simplicity is key.

All the other functions are accessible on the homepage, where there are 4 possible options: “Browse”, “Unread”, “Liked”, and “Archive”. One the “Browse” page one can see articles liked by friends using Instapaper, as well as a daily selection of articles either chosen by the editor or those with the greatest amounts of views. The “Unread” page allows the user to see the articles they have saved that haven’t been read yet. The “Liked” page shows articles that the user has liked, and the “Archive” page saves all the articles that have been read (unless deleted by the user). One can also create folders for the pages saved, and any page being viewed can be saved directly to that folder. Here is an example of the homepage:

© 2008-2011 Instapaper, LLC.

Instapaper also has a sharing function, which allows one to link their accounts or to share individual articles on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. The application also has a function whereby a user “Like” an article, which can be displayed to friends. This is relatively easy to accomplish; the user must click on the Account button on the top of the Instapaper homepage, and choose which of five available sites he or she would like to link their account to. For example:

© 2008-2011 Instapaper, LLC.

And that’s about it! Easy enough, eh?

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