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Day December 10, 2013

Product Idea: Twitter Reader

One of my favourite IFTTT recipes was to add any tweet that I favourited to Instapaper. Not only was it a good way to keep track of interesting reads, it also ensured I always had a good selection of Instapaper content to read whenever I was offline.

That ended when Twitter stopped support for IFTTT a year or so ago, but I never stopped thinking about how useful that setup was.

But there’s no reason Twitter couldn’t provide the same functionality within their native apps. The UX would be simple and users would understand it immediately. Every time you favorite a tweet, the article content is downloaded in the background and added to your ‘Twitter reader’ list, and stored offline (and synched across devices) an efficient format. Any time you’re offline, or want to catch up on your reading, tap the reader icon in your twitter app and pick something to read. Of course, browsing the reading lists of people you follow would be a big part of it, and would provide a second window for retweets.

Twitter could easily monetize this by selling ads against the content in their reader too – why let Flipboard have all the fun?