Trying to stand out in the eBook space is difficult. Amazon seems to be the reigning king, while other big companies like Barnes & Noble and Apple are trying to carve out their place. Sometimes forgotten, Kobo is trying a new approach to eReading as a way to stand out. Kobo is trying to go social.
Kobo’s newest product is called Reading Life, and it will try to make readers more involved with books. To make reading social, Kobo is trying a number of different ideas it seems. The first idea is the most obvious: readers will be able to share books and excerpts with their friends. Reading Life will also feature statistics like how often you read, how fast you read, how many pages your turned. The statistics will be able to tell you how you read and your preferences, and will also be useful for activity achievements. You’ll even be able to check-in with characters or places in the books you’re reading. Over time the books you read with Reading Life will create a personal book cover that you can then share with your friends on Facebook.
Kobo’s idea is certainly interesting, and a bit surprising that it hasn’t been tried before. It seems that Kobo took all of the ideas of social networking out there at the moment, and stuck them all together. Checking into a fictional place or with a fictional character sounds just a bit strange, but it could work. Achievements seem like a good idea to make people read more, it certainly worked for Foursquare and Microsoft with the Xbox 360.
Read [Business Wire]