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Kobo Reading Life and Facebook partner for “frictionless” social e-reading

Soon Facebook users won’t have to click a button to tell their friends what they’re reading. Yesterday at F8, Facebook’s annual developers conference, Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis announced that its e-reading app, Kobo Reading Life, will be seamlessly integrated into the Facebook interface as part of the website’s Open Graph product, along with services for music, film, games, and news media.

During the conference’s keynote speech, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg referred to Open Graph as a means of “frictionless sharing,” meaning once a user signs up for an app, it will automatically track their media usage, which will then be shared, in real-time, with friends as part of Facebook’s new Ticker feature.

“You don’t have to ‘like’ a book, you can just read a book. You don’t have to ‘like’ a movie, you can just watch a movie…” says Zuckerberg, referring to the website’s ubiquitous Like button. Facebook’s new Timeline feature, available now as a beta program, also gives users the ability to build personal reports, such as how many pages read in a single week.

In a video interview at F8, Kobo Reading Life product manager Jason Gamblen and Serbinis offered more insight into the integration. Through the Reading Life app, Serbinis says, a Kobo user can track “all the books you’ve ever read, what you’re reading right now, times a day you read, stats about yourselves, friends that you share books with.” Gamblen explained that when a Facebook user adds Kobo to their Timeline, they can also account for the number of books read, the amount of time and the most popular days spent reading. Users are also eligible for awards by hitting milestones such as reading 50,000 pages or a certain number of classic books.

Reading Life’s “social e-reading” features allow people to connect and engage with other Kobo users via Facebook. “Our best recommendations come from friends, not the 400th Harry Potter review on some e-commerce site,” says Serbinis, who also briefly mentioned a new initiative, Kobo Pulse, which will be officially announced in the next couple of weeks.

  • MJ

    “Users are also eligible for awards by hitting milestones such as reading 50,000 pages or a certain number of classic books.”

    This could have lots of potential — I hope they emphasize this more!

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