Today, Amazon has announced the acquisition of social reading service, Goodreads. Specific terms of the deal weren’t disclosed and it should close by the end of Q2.
Goodreads had raised $2.75 million in funding from the likes of True Ventures since launching in January 2007. Last August the site had over 10 million members and had catalogued more than 360 million books, adding 22 million each month. Now, the site boasts over 16 million users.
This type of social integration could give Amazon a major advantage over e-sellers like Apple, who have no social components to their product whatsoever. With people actually discussing and sharing the books that they’re into, having an Amazon direct connect makes complete sense. The site can offer special deals to Goodreads users, which in essence is now Amazon’s book-reading social network.
The closest that Apple has come to socializing the sale of digital goods was Ping, its music “social network” that never took off and died last October. If Amazon were to acquire sites like Goodreads for each massive vertical, the company could really ramp up reviews, suggestions and of course, sales. The amount of data that Goodreads has on its users alone makes the acquisition a slam dunk. People love to talk about books, people are creating groups on Goodreads to discuss the books they read, and that means everyone has to buy the book to participate.
Also, let us add that Apple recently got into promoting self-published authors, which is another area where social can really kick up sales for Amazon.