Amazon announced yesterday they are going to acquire GoodReads, site for book recommendations and one of the leading social networks for book lovers. On one side, this move is somewhat unexpected from Amazon, since they own Shelfari, another social network for books, which in recent time has experienced some decline in usage. On the other hand though, Goodreads has over 16 million users and has more than 360 million books in its catalogue and has been the place to promote new books – both self-published and through traditional publishers.
But this move will also help Amazon improve its recommendation system, something Goodreads has been working on for years. Moreover, all the book reviews from Goodreads will be incredible additional benefit for Amazon to mine for what users like, share and recommend to their friends. It seems that Amazon is buying the network not only for their social aspect, but also for the incredible data mining opportunities. It is all about data!
Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO, said about the deal: “Books – and the stories and ideas captured inside them – are part of our social fabric. People love to talk about ideas and share their passion for the stories they read. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and Kindle. We’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world. We’re looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally.”
In other words, Goodread will probably act as promotional stop for books before people buying from Amazon, which proved incredibly helpful for self-published authors who used Goodreads to promote their books to readers. It still remains to be seen what type of integration between Amazon and Goodreads will happen once the deal is approved.