Kobo brings books to life with Kobo Pulse™

Kobo Expands Reading Life, Leads eBook Integration with Facebook

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - Kobo, a global leader in eReading with 4.9 million users worldwide, today announced Kobo Pulse™, expanding it's social platform - Reading Life - and its leadership in social eReading. With Kobo, every page of every book has a pulse - an indicator of social engagement driven by who and how many people are reading, what they are saying, and what they are thinking.  Kobo Pulse™ allows readers to learn about the life of a book, connect with friends, share their sentiments, and engage in thought provoking discussions while reading any book.  Kobo Pulse and your Reading Life are also integrated with Facebook.

The advent of ebooks has enabled readers to carry their entire libraries in their pocket and download new books in an instant through wireless devices.  But until now, the reading experience has remained static.  The launch of Kobo Pulse marks a revolutionary change in the reading experience, making it dynamic and social.

"With Kobo Pulse 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, CEO, Kobo Inc.  "This is a revolution in books and how we read that will give readers exciting new ways to connect, discover content and express themselves."

Kobo has built on its leadership in social reading with the addition of Kobo Pulse and Facebook integration announced at F8 last week.  Kobo Pulse activity will show up in the new Facebook Ticker, and your Reading Life will be reflected in Facebook Timeline. 

Leading the charge at the Facebook F8 conference last week, Kobo is a first mover in social eReading by providing deeper integration with Facebook®.  The new features, combined with proprietary Kobo Pulse technology and functionality give the reading community the most sophisticated social eReading app available.

Kobo Pulse offers a fully social in-book eReading experience that is immersive and fun.  With Kobo Pulse, readers can:

  • Feel the life of a book: Kobo Pulse indicates the intensity of social engagement throughout a book, becoming larger and brighter, inviting the user to engage with other readers
  • Get more out of reading: Readers can see what others thought of what they just read. They can also see interesting stats like how many people are reading or engaging with a book, throughout the book.
  • Connect with others:  Readers can connect with other readers around the world
  • Join the conversation: Readers share sentiments (liking, disliking) and comment on individual passages or ongoing discussions

Kobo's Reading Life experience launched December 2010 continues to rapidly evolve allowing customers to:

  • Track your stats:  Discover your personal reading style tracking the minutes per reading session of their current read, the number of pages turned, plus see an overview of books completed in their library.
  • Earn awards:  Users can also earn fun and exciting awards that celebrate reading accomplishments and milestones.
  • Share your Reading Life:  Users can share their Reading Life with their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Users can share what books they are reading, share their favorite passages and even their Reading Life awards.
  • Connect your Reading Life: Users can connect their Reading Life with Facebook friends and explore their friends library, ask for recommendations, and compare awards and reading stats.

Kobo's deeper Facebook integration announced last week at F8, unmatched in the eReading industry, allows users to:

  • Discover their book DNA through their timeline
  • Express themselves to their friends in the new Facebook profile
  • Follow their friends reading activity
  • Fully customize privacy settings for books (individual and global)
  • Automate their eReading newsfeed ("ticker") with updates such as sharing when adding or reading a new book, annotations, face or place, finishing a book or earning an award.
  • Create new profile call-outs for recently read books, most read authors, books that have the most time read and recent awards
  • Invite more friends to connect their Kobo Reading Life with a single tap

Kobo Pulse will be available for free initially in Kobo's eReading App for iPhone and iPad users, and will be quickly extended to Android, Kobo eReaders and additional platforms.  The new Facebook integration features will roll out gradually over the coming months.

"We're moving into an era where social eReading will change the nature of how and what we read," continued Serbinis.  "With Kobo Pulse, readers can get more out of reading.  Books are now alive.  The end is no longer the end.  Readers get to participate, adding their voice, which actually lives within the reading experience itself through Pulse."

For additional information on Kobo Pulse, visit www.kobo.com/ReadingLife.  Kobo's apps are available at www.kobo.com/readinglife, in the iTunes App Store, BlackBerry App World and from the Android Market.  Kobo Pulse will be also be available on the Kobo eReader Touch Edition.

About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.5 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers - one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world.  Kobo believes consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and has attracted millions of readers from over 100 countries across the globe.  Kobo has top ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and MacOS, and is the eReading application of choice for leading tablet OEMs.  The Kobo Wireless eReader and the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition is available at leading retailers, including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy, WH Smith, Collins Booksellers and Whitcoull's.  Kobo's innovative Reading Life is an industry-first comprehensive social eReading experience - Kobo users can earn awards simply for time spent reading and encouraging others.  Kobo is backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music Inc, Cheung Kong Holdings, and institutional investors.

SOURCE Kobo Inc.

For further information:

Karina Tang/Kourtney Schepman
Rogers & Cowan
310.854.8148/212.445.8419
ktang@rogersandcowan.com
kschepman@rogersandcowan.com

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