With more social media channels promoting news and shared content among their members, community managers can come across tons of fascinating reading material each day. They have to be experts of time management, which often means they don’t have time to read long feature articles as they discover them. But with all the other responsibilities of a normal work shift, there’s no way to remember all of the interesting posts that you see during the day.
Fortunately, there are many options available to help community managers, and any other avid online readers, to track the various links they find. Several save-for-later apps have sprung up to facilitate easier reading. Here are a few of the important features to look for in read-later apps, as well as four of the top tools that any community manager should consider including in their arsenal of tools.
When you’re looking for a read-later app, take a look at the features it offers. Think about where you find most of your reading material and seek out resources that will interface with those platforms. Some services interface better with certain social media networks or browsers.
Another key decision is what gadget you do your most reading on. Do you work on a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone? What’s your preferred platform for catching up on news after hours? Pick a service that will match your habits.
The final consideration comes down to personal preference. Each platform has a slightly different look and feel. Take some time to test out any services that seem promising, then assess for yourself which one is the best fit.
For readers who pull their stories from a wide variety of places, look for a service that integrates into many other applications. Pocket works with more than 500 apps across a range of devices. It syncs with several reader products and it works particularly well with Twitter and popular Twitter clients.
Pocket has a free service and paid plans. Pocket Premium includes a permanent library, so your saved material will always be available to you, and a much fuller search capability. You can use and sync the service across iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as on Kobo; it’s also available as a browser bookmarklet.
This app can store reading material beyond features and news items. Like Pocket, Instapaper does save full articles, but it can also store videos, recipes, text snippets, or any other material. Instapaper can save anything you find online.
The unique feature of Instapaper is the ability to highlight text within an article that you’ve saved. This allows readers to pick out the most memorable or important nuggets of any content attached to your account. The service is available across all mobile device platforms and browsers, and will sync between your gadgetry.
You can try Instapaper out with a free account, but paid subscriptions are available.
The read-later feature is only part of the appeal with this tool. Yes, you do have a Reading List that can save the articles you want to check on later. But Readability is more about making the whole experience of consuming online content better. Use the Chrome browser add-on to clear away display ads, related stories, and any other extraneous content besides the story you’re interested in.
This program doesn’t have the full array of integrations or platform support as some of the others, but it does keep the whole experience simple. Use it with Twitter and other Twitter clients, and with a select number of other reading-centric mobile apps. Readability is also a totally free experience.
One of the latest additions to the read-later space is a feature from Facebook. Within the network’s interface, members can now opt to save a post that they want to revisit at a later time. This is very useful for people who get most of their reading material through that platform, because you’ll need to read those saved posts within Facebook; the Save feature doesn’t work outside of the service.
Savable posts include posts with links, places, movies, TV, and music. The default setting keeps your saved items private, but you can opt to save particular posts with friends. The feature will be available to any network members on the web, as well as on iOS and Android mobile platforms.