Kindle e-book reader owners will now have a new way to socialize with their friends about their favorite books or book quotes by way of mobile messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, texting, and more. The change is indicative of the trend toward private sharing as the preferred means of connecting with friends, versus larger, more public social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
The ability to share quotes or recommendations previously supported sharing to Facebook and Twitter, for example, but as Amazon Kindle SVP Russ Grandinetti explained in the company announcement, “the perfect quote in a book isn’t always the perfect quote for your whole social network.”
The addition makes sense for a number of Kindle readers. Book club groups, for instance, could take advantage of the private sharing option to get into more in-depth conversations around the current title they’re reading via messaging apps or email. Plus, users can now share their book recommendations in a more personal fashion by messaging just those friends who they think would really enjoy the title, as opposed to posting a status update to Facebook.
The upgraded feature allows for sharing of quotes, highlights as well as recommendations with specific friends, and is immediately available on Kindle for Android. Support for Kindle e-readers and other devices is expected for later this year, the company says.
Besides expanding the sharing options, those who receive a book recommendation or shared quote will be able to start reading immediately, Amazon notes. This is similar to how links to articles or videos work on the web today. When a user receives the share, they can access a free book preview in the browser, right on their phone, tablet or PC. They won’t need to sign up, sign into their account, or install an app to begin reading.
This latter item may seem like a minor upgrade, but by removing the friction around translating a social share into something that can be accessed and read immediately, Amazon could potentially convert more recipients to Kindle customers in the long run.