With a mobile app, chrome extension, and a website, Basket lets users save and organise articles, videos, and other content from the web, which they can read or watch later at their own convenience. Their aim is to help users increase their web productivity, both online and offline. Users can categorise and apply labels on news, research findings, and recipes they save to find them quickly and easily at a later time.
Basket was founded by Showvhick Nath (24), Ranit Sanyal (25), and Sandip Das (26) in early 2015. Showvhick is the startup’s design and product head, Ranit with two years of experience in the software and IT industry leads on marketing strategy and product analysis, while Sandip leads on technology and looks after web development and security. The founders consider their app’s organising ability and search capabilities to be their USP compared to the current market leader in this segment – Pocket.
Basket is currently seeding their product and is looking at further enhancing it and also getting more users on board. The app is currently free to download and use and the team is looking at multiple business models both – B2B and B2C –to monetise their app in the future.
How does it work?
Users can download the mobile app and chrome extension to set things up and organise their reading lists or bookmarks to sync across their laptops and mobile phones. After signing up users have the option to start their library from scratch or they can import their bookmarks from platforms such as Pocket, Delicious, Instapaper, and the different browsers – Firexfox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari.
Users can save and organise items in different categories and add labels to them for better context. The labels are aptly named – Favorite, Essential, Have to share, Have to Check, etc. Users can also add notes against any saved content, to help them keep track of context or include any additional information related to it. Users can access all the saved content offline and the chrome extension has been designed to help users save and categorise their content quickly, without opening new tabs, and get back to their task at hand.
–Basket includes ‘Wi-Fi only syncing’ option to help users save on their mobile data charges.
-Users can save content across all major apps such as Flipboard, Feedly, Newsstand, etc., or from mobile browsers through the share option.
–Google search integration: If a user has already saved a link to Basket and searches for related terms or content through Google search, Basket automatically shows the users the content they have saved, to give them context.
With the large volume of content generated both online and offline today, it is becoming increasingly difficult for end users to discover and read interesting content that they like. There is a huge market for news aggregators and platforms such as Pocket and other bookmarking platforms to leverage.
Flipboard is a leader in the content aggregation space and has so far raised $210 million in funding. Talking about the ‘save now and read later’ space, Pocket is the most mature player and has raised around $14 million in funding so far. Closer home in India, inShorts, and DailyHunt(formerly NewsHunt) are popular news aggregators that have raised a lot of funding and are doing well.
What we liked?
Basket is a well-designed and executed app. The chrome extension, desktop website, and mobile app complement each other in providing a good overall experience across different platforms. The feature I liked the most was the ‘Google search integration’ which pops up articles already saved to Pocket, while searching on the web for related terms. This brings in a lot more context and helps users leverage on the content they have already read, which otherwise goes into a ‘black hole’ in their bookmarks tab. The ability to add bookmarks, labels, and notes along with the saved content and also search through them adds on to the appeal of the app.
What could be improved?
While Basket does live up to its promise of helping users, ‘Save and read later’ with organisational tools and Google search integration, including search engine integrations through more players like Bing or Yahoo! may help widen its appeal.
The app is currently available only on Android, and developing the app with local language support could further enhance the appeal for the millions of Indians across the country that are rapidly coming online. Ranit and his co-founders have got a lot of feedback from users. Many users have requested for the ability to send push notifications to themselves once a day at a predetermined time to remind them to go through their saved content.
Overall, Basket is a well-executed product that stands out because of its USPs in a crowded market. While Pocket is a global leader in this space, Basket is unique in certain aspects and users may actually find benefits in keeping both apps on their smartphones to help them discover, save, and read content that they like. It will be interesting to see what Basket does in the future and how they go about monetising their app and also scaling their platform to reach more users.
What do you think about this app, do let us know in the comments below. Also do check out other apps under our App Fridays series.