Amazon buys Goodreads to boost Kindle recommendations

Amazon buys Goodreads to boost Kindle recommendations
Goodreads will soon be under the Amazon umbrella

Kindle devices will soon be infused with book recommendations from the world's largest community of reading enthusiasts after Amazon agreed to buy the popular Goodreads website and mobile apps.

Established in 2007, the preeminent social network for readers has racked up 16 million members, who've shared 23 million book reviews, from an overall database of 525 million titles.

Goodreads users can see which books their friends are reading, see recommendations tailored to their own tastes and also track which titles they have read and rated using the service.

In a statement, Amazon said it will work with the Goodreads team to "delight readers," while the Goodreads' CEO spoke of the opportunity to enlighten more readers with informed recommendations.

Sharing passion

"Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading," said Russ Grandinetti Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content.

"Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike."

Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO, who's company will continue to operate out of its San Francsico offices, added: "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."

What will it mean for Kindle users?

The deal is expected to be rubber stamped sometime in the second quarter of 2013. The fee Amazon will pay for the site has not been disclosed.

It remains to be seen how Amazon will implement the Goodreads platform into its existing and vast reviews and recommendations database.

It seems unlikely too much will change for Goodreads users in terms of how they use the service. Amazon, at least until now, isn't known for running roughshod over popular commodities they come to acquire.

TechRadar has reached out to Amazon and Goodreads for further comment and will update this story when a response is forthcoming.


UPDATE: In a blog post on the Goodreads website, CEO Otis Chandler moved to assure the community that the site "isn't going anywhere." and that Kindle integration is a long-requested feature from users.

He wrote: "It's important to be clear that Goodreads and the awesome team behind it are not going away. Goodreads will continue to be the wonderful community that we all cherish. We plan to continue offering you everything that you love about the site—the ability to track what you read, discover great books, discuss and share them with fellow book lovers, and connect directly with your favorite authors—and your reviews and ratings will remain here on Goodreads. And it's incredibly important to us that we remain a home for all types of readers, no matter if you read on paper, audio, digitally, from scrolls, or even stone tablets.

"For all of you Kindle readers, there's obviously an extra bonus in this announcement. You've asked us for a long time to be able to integrate your Kindle and Goodreads experiences. Making that option a reality is one of our top priorities."

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.