16. October 2013–
Berlin-based eBook store and eReading app Txtr today launched a new social layer, "Txtr Feed". The feature propels the company beyond basic reading to a more interactive approach, allowing users to collect, share and discover eBooks by following other users, authors, publishers and bloggers.
In a similar vein to Spotify's music discovery feature, Txtr Feed's main goal is to help users find new books to suit their tastes. It's a bid by the company to stand out in the competitive eReading market – Txtr wants to offer its users a complete reading package, offering book discovery and purchase, library management, book collection, reading and social interaction within the app.
Today's launch is only the first version of the social layer, Txtr Product Lead for Social Hany Rizk said. At the moment, every time a user adds a book to their collection it comes up in the discovery section of the feed – the company plans to make this feed more personalised in the future. As more users engage with the feed, Txtr will analyse the data to include books that are trending, along with personalised recommendations based on genres, favourite authors and friends' reading choices. Users can share, like and comment on books posted by other Txtr users and can post to Facebook and Twitter from the app.
Rizk stressed the company's goal to keep books at the forefront of the app, by presenting them visually and, hopefully in the near future, encouraging interaction between authors and their fans.
At the moment, Txtr Feed is only available in the UK and Germany – two of Txtr's core markets. Founded in 2008 by serial entrepreneur and angel investor, Christophe Maire, the company claims it now stocks over one million eBooks for sale. The Txtr eReading app is available for Android, iOS and Windows 8 along with PC and Mac. Txtr’s backers include US multinational 3M (NYSE:MMM), which invested an undisclosed sum in 2011.
It's not the only maker of a reading app in Berlin. Maire is also an investor in Readmill, which doesn't allow eBook purchases within its iPhone, iPad and Android apps but does allow users to upload and manage files and "Send to Readmill" when making purchases with partner retailers. It also offers a range of free eBooks within the app.