FutureBook: mobile gains prominence for social reading

FutureBook: mobile gains prominence for social reading

Mobile devices are increasingly being used for social reading and recommendation sites, the FutureBook Conference has heard.
 
Speaking in a session about Partnerships That Scale, Ashleigh Gardner, head of content for the Wattpad social reading and discovery site, said the platform's monthly users had rocketed from 13m to 20m since April with 80% of traffic taking place on mobile phones.

Patrick Brown, director of author marketing for Goodreads [pictured], also said users accessing the site through mobile devices was a clear trend. "We have spent a lot of time redesigning our mobile site. Increasingly there are many people using Goodreads only for mobile devices," he said. "If you want to reach people, market on mobile devices."
 
Now the Goodreads service has been fully integrated into the Kindle Paperwhite device after the company was acquired by Amazon in April, it was "very concerned to remain a site for all readers (not just Kindle)", Brown said.
 
He added that since its acquisition, people using the Goodreads site had grown from 16 million to 20 million. "We are double in size from last year," he said. "We are growing rapidly and expect that growth to continue."
 
The company intends to concentrate on international growth next year, by featuring more foreign language titles and translated fiction, Brown said. "Around 45% of (our monthly users) are outside the US‚internationally we are growing. That is organic growth, we have not gone out to court international audiences." He said the UK was the largest European market, which has seen 127% year-on-year growth in users.
 
Meanwhile Gardner said Wattpad had recently started serialising books and sending users 'push notifications' to their mobile phones when a new chapter of a book they had recently read was uploaded to the site.

Wattpad also said serialisation was a key tool in encouraging purchases through the website. "If users can't wait another week for a free instalment of the title, they will choose to buy the whole book outright," she said. Gardner said publishers also used Wattpad to get readers to vote on book jackets.

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