Kobo Debuts Social Reading Application for BlackBerry Smartphones
(Press Release) SAN FRANCISCO, September 28, 2010—At BlackBerry DEVCON 2010, Kobo announced the development of an industry-first social eReading experience and released a video of the social reading app in action. Kobo, a global eReading service, demonstrated during the keynote presentation how application developers will be able to leverage the new BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) Social Platform. The BBM Social Platform enables developers to build applications that take advantage of the BlackBerry smartphone's social aspects, as well as the push architecture of the BlackBerry platform. Kobo plans to integrate information from various functions of BBM into the eBook shopping and reading experience on its application once the BBM Social Platform is available. The company today released a video of the forthcoming application.
"Our customers are passionate about reading and we are excited to bring them a venue to share recommendations and engage in social reading," said Dan Leibu, chief technology officer for Kobo. "Today, e-reading is a very private experience, but the availability of the BBM Social Platform will enable us to begin to bring our vision of social reading to life and to increase customer engagement through real-time discussions about books, authors and trends."
Using the Kobo application, readers will be able to:
• Chat with friends while they are shopping for eBooks. When browsing for eBooks, Kobo members will be able to see which friends have read a book and instantly ask whether the book is worth reading.
• Read together, share passages and discuss in real-time. Kobo will introduce the concept of a real-time book club, where members can discuss books as they read.
• Choose who can see their library, which books they read with others, and who they read with.
Since its launch nine months ago, Kobo has grown its store to over 2.2 million books and has attracted customers in more than 200 countries who have downloaded millions of eBooks using its applications for smartphones, netbooks, tablets, and dedicated eReaders. By building BBM integration into the shopping experience, Kobo enables readers to tap their social connections to help find their next great read.