Glasp vs. Matter: Which Highlighter App Should You Use?


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 07, 2023

5 min read


Glasp vs. Matter: Which Highlighter App Should You Use?

In the digital age, reading and highlighting have become more interactive and collaborative than ever before. With the rise of highlighter apps, users can now annotate and share their insights with others, making the reading experience more engaging and community-focused. Two popular highlighter apps that have gained attention are Glasp and Matter. While both apps offer unique features and functionalities, they cater to different preferences and needs. In this article, we will explore the key differences between Glasp and Matter and help you decide which one is the right fit for you.

Glasp, a "social web highlighter" for the desktop, takes highlighting to a new level by making your highlights and notes available for public viewing. This means that anyone who comes across your profile page or stumbles upon the article you highlighted in their feed can see your annotations. This social aspect of Glasp allows users to share their insights and thoughts with others, fostering a sense of community among readers. However, some individuals may not be comfortable with their highlights and notes being public and prefer a more private reading experience.

On the other hand, Matter positions itself as the "one place for all your reading" for mobile devices. It is designed to be a private reading experience, where users can highlight articles, Twitter threads, and newsletters. Matter allows users to categorize their highlights using different colors, such as yellow for sparking ideas, red for disagreement, green for confusing concepts, and blue for important points. Additionally, if you prefer to listen to web articles, Matter enables you to highlight audio as well. This feature is particularly useful for those who are constantly on the go and prefer to consume content through audio.

One key difference between Glasp and Matter is their approach to importing and exporting highlights and notes. Glasp allows users to import highlights and notes from Kindle, making it easy to access and sync their annotations across different platforms. This is a valuable feature for avid Kindle users who want to consolidate their highlights in one place. Moreover, Glasp offers various export options, including .txt, .csv, .html, .md, and .png file formats. This flexibility allows users to export their highlights and notes in a format that suits their needs.

In contrast, Matter focuses on integrating with other read-it-later apps such as Pocket and Instapaper. This integration enables users to import their library, including tags and folders, into Matter. While this feature enhances the sharing aspect of the app and allows users to exchange insights with other learners, some individuals may prefer to keep their highlights and notes private and not share them with the community.

Another significant difference between Glasp and Matter is their approach to sharing highlights and notes. Glasp embraces the social aspect by allowing users to share their annotations with others. This creates a collaborative environment where users can exchange ideas and engage in discussions. Matter, however, initially offered a similar social feature but has since moved away from it. Currently, all highlights and notes in Matter are kept private, providing a more personal and secluded reading experience.

When it comes to the reading experience, both Glasp and Matter offer unique features that cater to different preferences. Glasp combines aspects from social media apps and highlighter apps, giving it a community-focused experience. The mobile app even allows users to switch between text and audio, enabling them to listen to the articles they have saved. Audio Queueing is also an option, allowing users to create a playlist and listen to their saved content seamlessly. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who are constantly on the move and prefer to absorb information through audio.

On the other hand, Matter is more suited for readers who prefer a private and personalized reading experience. With its read-it-later functionality, users can save articles using the mobile app or the browser extension. This allows them to curate their reading list and consume content at their own pace. Matter's shift towards a private approach to highlights and notes ensures that users have complete control over their annotations, making it an appealing choice for those who value privacy.

In conclusion, both Glasp and Matter offer unique features and functionalities that enhance the reading and highlighting experience. Glasp's social web highlighter approach fosters a sense of community and collaboration, while Matter's focus on privacy and read-it-later functionality provides a more personalized experience. When deciding which app to use, it's essential to consider your preferences and needs. If you enjoy sharing your insights and engaging in discussions with others, Glasp might be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a private reading experience and want complete control over your highlights and notes, Matter would be a better fit.

To help you make an informed decision, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Consider your comfort level with sharing: If you enjoy sharing your thoughts and engaging with a community, Glasp's social web highlighter approach might be appealing. However, if you prefer a more private reading experience, Matter's focus on privacy is a better fit.
  • 2. Evaluate your reading habits: Take into account how you consume content. If you are always on the go and prefer listening to articles, Glasp's audio capabilities and playlist feature might be advantageous. Conversely, if you prefer reading at your own pace and curating your reading list, Matter's read-it-later functionality is worth considering.
  • 3. Assess your need for integration: If you are an avid Kindle user and want to consolidate your highlights in one place, Glasp's ability to import highlights and notes from Kindle is a valuable feature. On the other hand, if you use read-it-later apps like Pocket or Instapaper, Matter's integration with these platforms might be more suitable.

Ultimately, the choice between Glasp and Matter depends on your individual preferences and needs. Both apps offer unique features that can enhance your reading and highlighting experience. Consider what aspects are most important to you and choose the app that aligns with your reading habits and goals. Happy highlighting!

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