Pottermore launches in beta

Pottermore launches in beta

J K Rowling's Pottermore site has opened as a beta site, giving early access to selected members of the public and press.

The e-book and audiobook store on the site is among the sections that are not yet accessible, with it to become accessible to everyone when the full launch goes ahead in October.

Each site visitor is given their own username and password, and they then build up a profile as the sites enables the user to navigate through the books' chapters, collecting objects and experiencing original animated "moments", which give users access to new content from J K Rowling, as well as snippets from the original text.

Each user has their own home page, where they keep track of house points that they have earned, follow friends on the site, and chart the objects, spells and potions they have accumulated. There are also comment boards accompanying each "moment", which can also be used to upload drawings and other content created by users.

At the moment, users can only travel through the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but the other books will be added to the site after its full launch, in a staggered series of releases.

Users were already able to comment on the site, with most of the comments praising the site: "It's like Christmas has come early!!!!" says WillowQuaffle146. However, some comments criticised the lack of sound accompanying the animations on the site: "Sound would take this to another level," said MagicDust2. A spokesman for Pottermore confirmed there is no plan to add sound to the site for its full launch.