Scribd Goes Mobile
This week, San Francisco-based social publishing company Scribd launched two new products designed to simplify mobile reading. The first of these products, a send-to-device reading feature, is now live on more than 10 million Scribd documents, enabling consumers to send reading material from Scribd.com to their e-reader or smartphone. Also, Scribd launched a series of application programming interfaces (APIs)—the Scribd Open-Content Platform for E-Readers and Mobile Devices (SOPED)—which gives device companies the ability to more deeply integrate Scribd's search, social and other functionality into their devices. Companies that have already signed on for SOPED include Interead and Onyx International.
"Scribd is in a perfect position to become the hub for mobile reading, the place where content creators come to easily publish their works and build a readership, and where consumers come to find what they want to read on whatever device they want," says Trip Adler, Scribd CEO and co-founder. "Today's launch of our send-to-device feature and mobile API represents a major step forward in our strategy to provide open access to Scribd content. We look forward to giving consumers even more mobile-reading options in the coming weeks and months."
The send-to-device feature enables consumers to send millions of free and for-purchase, digital rights management (DRM)-free Scribd documents—including books and chapters from publishers like O'Reilly Media and Lonely Planet—to e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader and Barnes & Noble's Nook, as well as other entrants in the e-reader market such as the Entourage eDGE, Interead COOL-ER reader, Onyx International Boox, IREX Digital Reader, ETACO jetBook, Astek EZ Reader and Foxit eSlick Reader. Scribd's new send-to-device feature also will work on billions of mobile phones, including Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile-powered smartphones.
"The more content we can provide our customers, the more useful our e-readers will become," says David Donovan, vice president business development at IREX, which sells its e-readers at Best Buy and includes Verizon wireless service.
Starting in March, Scribd will begin rolling out a series of mobile applications for the Android and iPhone operating systems, among others. According to Scribd, these applications will provide its users with a richer search, browsing and social experience directly from select devices that support third-party apps. Scribd also plans to make PDF documents available in the .ePub format.
"Reading applications on smartphones are an important component of publishers' digital strategy," says Allen Weiner, research vice president at information technology research and advisory company Gartner. "Now is a perfect time for publishers to establish relationships with companies that can assist in a rapid deployment of written content."