Book reading is getting social in real time with the new Pulse feature added to Kobo’s social e-reading functionality.
Last December, the Kobo e-reading platform (majority owned by book retailer Indigo) introduced social e-reading through its Reading Life feature, integrating Facebook on its free iPad app and allowing users to share passages directly to Facebook as well as monitor their own reading statistics such as hours read and pages per hour.
Connecting with the Kobo community also allows users to view and share their reading stats with other Kobo Facebook friends. (Kobo claims some 4.9 million worldwide users.)
At last week’s Facebook’s F8 conference, Kobo demonstrated Pulse, a pulsing icon that appears on the bottom of every e-book page indicating that others in the community are also reading that page – the larger the pulse, the more people currently reading that same page.
Tapping the pulsating circle displays a bar across the top of the page revealing reader details. It allows readers to monitor and add to a comment feed, and by dragging the pulse indicator up, more statistics are revealed including reader comments, ratings and more.
“We are capturing the zeitgeist of every book in the world, and enabling readers to be a part of it, to contribute to the life of the book, while reading,” said Michael Serbinis, Kobo’s CEO. in a company release.
Kobo Pulse will initially be available for free in Kobo’s eReading app for iPhone and iPad, eventually extending to Android, Kobo eReaders and additional platforms.