Facebook is announcing all kinds of new social reading partnerships today, and Kobo is not one to be left out. Kobo will soon expand Kobo Reading Life,one of the industry’s first comprehensive social reading experiences, to include more and better Facebook. The new service will make it easier for readers to feature their reading activities on their Facebook profile as well as engage in conversations with each other while reading.
“Our extremely popular Kobo Reading Life app was the first social platform to deliver interaction to eReading,” said Dan Leibu, chief technology officer, Kobo. “Kobo is committed to staying on the cutting-edge of social eReading to realize our mission of inspiring more people to read by allowing them to share thoughts, insights and experiences.”
At first glance this looks like a social platform getting slightly more social (if that’s even possible), but I believe there’s more to it than that. Kobo is opening up Reading Life so reader will be able to interact with non-readers. I’m not sure why either party would really care, but there is probably a body of Facebook users already looking forward to it.
Though I’m not sure that Kobo really is opening up. The new Facebook integration swaps one closed system for another closed system. Yes, Facebook is a larger system, but it’s still closed.
P.S. Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis will be discussing Kobo’s expanding social reading experience on f8 Live (f8.facebook.com), streaming directly from the event at 2:20 p.m. PST.