Sunday, December 12, 2010
Kobo Goes Social
Social reading is about creating an engaging experience that we as readers what to share and engage with. It is not just about social it has to be linked to buying and provide added value that people want. Many have tried to brand themselves as a social site and then sell books or devices bit that isn’t the way it works and is why those have struggled.
Amazon were one of the first to engage with readers and let them add their reviews and they were one of the first to understand selling books was about selling books; old, new, used whatever. They built a community based first on service and have continuously pushed that envelope.
Now Kobo, one of the real contenders in the market, have upped the stakes with their "Reading Life" app, which extends ‘social’. It includes sharing, a personal "book cover," statistics, social network check-ins and much more. Users can monitor reading habits and track the number of books and pages read, even down to pages per minute and the frequently of the reading. There is quirky achievements such as the "Once Upon a Time" achievement for opening the first book, 'The Twain' for daily reading and 'The Witching Hour' for night readers. Importantly they use services such as Facebook and don’t compete but compliment the community and share highlighted text via Facebook or Twitter.
Can it be copied –yes, but they have hammered a stake in the marketplace which will change it going forward. This may appear a bold statement, but just like when Amazon pushed the jacket and changed bibliographic, or when they stared their Search Inside programme and changed sampling books, or started to sell used books, or started reviews and changed internet buying, Kobo have made a significant social move.