Amazon announced the acquisition of the social reading company Goodreads in a deal that should come to fruition by the end of Q2. The social site has raised $2.75 million in funding since 2007, and currently boasts over 16 million members with more than 360 million books, with 22 million additional books added every month.
By merging with Amazon, Goodreads is directly linked to the Kindle book-buying network and Amazon’s store, and is ostensibly to Kindle and Amazon what Ping tried to be to the iTunes store: Amazon’s book-centric social network. It will allow readers to share, recommend, discuss, and ultimately buy books on a much wider and more elegantly integrated social scale. This will be further facilitated by Goodreads’ recommendation technology, which allows users to follow and interact with writers while simultaneously rating and spreading their favorite books for incentives like free reads and other giveaways. Ultimately, the marriage with Kindle makes perfect sense for both parties, and with users adding more books to their “want to read” sections at a rate of 4 books per second, the purchase power of this 16 million user network seems almost limitless.