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Amazon Kindle getting social -- but does it get it?

So it looks like Amazon is trying to make the Kindle experience more social. There's a good write-up in The Atlantic that discusses the new social features of the Kindle and the website, where the e-reader's public notes feature is integrated with Twitter and Facebook.

I'm not a Kindle user so I don't have a feel for how much of a demand users have to be "social" on Twitter/Facebook while trying to read a book.

Amazon's been steadily adding "social" features to the Kindle platform over the past year. But do you want to be social while trying to enjoy the peace of mind of reading a book? I dunno....

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I guess I can see some usefulness in it.

As The Atlantic writer notes, readers may enjoy the ability of sharing lending versions of e-books with others in their social networks.

But it's also not in Amazon's interest to make it too easy for people to mass-lend their e-books, cuz it could potentially hurt Kindle sales. Or not?

Tim Carmody, over at Wired, has a good rundown of the details of how Amazon's pimped-up social network is behaving for users. Growing pains are evident.

I suspect we're seeing the early stages of social network experimentation for Amazon. There are rumors they're building their own tablet to compete with the iPad. Building a social network around books (and Amazon does music, and millions of other stuff, too) may be just the beginning.

Amazon could build a social network that incorporates and integrates both the virtual AND physical worlds better than anything out there right now that Apple/iTunes or Facebook/Twitter or Google/Microsoft could ever hope to accomplish. One that's powered by its deep reservoir of customer reviews and integrates well with its Amazon hardware, i.e. e-readers and tablets.

(Image via FastCompany)

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