Amazon, the world’s largest bookseller has acquired the world’s largest book-focused social network, Goodreads.
Why? Well, publishing consultant and DBW partner Mike Shatzkin said of Goodreads, “They were on the verge of opening a bookstore – they were hiring people, talking to people…so Amazon takes it [Goodreads] off the table. It’s a really smart acquisition by Amazon and it goes to show that the competition missed a chance.”
Amazon already owns Shelfari, another book-focused social network, and has a stake in LibraryThing, another one. So what will it do with Goodreads now that it owns it, too? By comparison to Goodreads, the other two networks are backwaters.
Here are some logical guesses:
1. Use the site’s data to augment and improve its own book recommendations.
2. Remove buy buttons for other retailers’ books.
3. Supplement its own reviews with Goodreads reviews.
4. Add Goodreads to its suite of marketing solutions for publishers.
5. Nothing. The company is growing quickly (nearly tripled in users since the end of 2011).
Read much more on the acquisition, what commentators think and how this might affect Barnes & Noble.
Related: DBW Q&A With Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler From Nov. 2012 | paidContent Q&A With Chandler and Amazon’s Russ Grandinetti on the Acquisition
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