Kobo Users Get Hands-On, Industry-First Experience With BBM-Based Social Reading Application at BlackBerry World Conference

    Kobo Social eReading App for BlackBerry Smartphones Showcased at


TORONTO, May 3, 2011 /CNW/ -- BlackBerry World 2011, booth #359 -- Kobo, a leader in global eReading, announced that a pre-release version of their highly anticipated social reading application will be demonstrated at BlackBerry®World(TM). The app, which provides BlackBerry® smartphone users with the industry's first social eReading experience, was showcased during the BlackBerry World 2011 General Session on May 3. BlackBerry World attendees will also get a chance to learn more at Kobo's booth #359 in the Solutions Showcase May 3-5.

The new BBM(TM) (BlackBerry® Messenger) Social Platform (currently available in beta), enables developers to build applications that take advantage of a BlackBerry smartphone's social aspects as well as the push architecture of the BlackBerry® platform. Using the flexibility of the BBM Social Platform, Kobo engineers have developed the first social reading application - the Kobo eReading App for BlackBerry smartphones - that brings readers the ability to leverage their social communities in real time to shape reading selections and eBook purchases.


    Using the Kobo application, readers can easily:
    --  Find out which of their BBM friends have the book(s) they're
        considering buying
    --  Chat with friends in real-time about which books they have in common
        their lifetime digital libraries
    --  Browse friends' libraries to discover books that may be of interest
    --  Control privacy and visibility settings to choose who sees their
        digital library


"Developing a social eReading app for the BBM Social Platform fits perfectly with our strategy to ignite social interaction among readers, providing a new highly engaging dimension for the passionate reading community," said Todd Humphrey, EVP of business development, Kobo. "Our integration with BBM is a powerful new way for consumers to share their love of reading with friends, their extended families and everyone in their BBM social network. It gives readers a fun, easy and exciting way to dive deeper into reading."

"BBM is actively used by over 43 million users and is a leading social platform for communication and collaboration," said Tyler Lessard, VP Global Alliances & Developer Relations, Research In Motion. "We are excited to be working with Kobo to extend the social experience of BBM to their eReading application, allowing users to further connect with their BBM contacts over common reading interests."

In addition to showing the industry's first social eReading experience on a BlackBerry® smartphone, Kobo will demonstrate its eReading app on the BlackBerry® PlayBook(TM) tablet at the BlackBerry World conference. Kobo's eReading application comes pre-loaded on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Kobo has created an overall eBook solution that provides consumers the freedom to read anytime, anyplace, and on any device, with more than 3 million users and customers worldwide. In addition to its expansive online eBook catalogue with the world's broadest selection of latest releases, favorites, limited editions and classics, Kobo offers locally merchandised English language stores in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The company has also recently announced plans to expand into Europe with localized stores in Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands. Kobo is in a strong position to move forward in a competitive market, recently closing a $50 million (CDN) funding round of new capital to support European expansion, new eReading solutions and reading initiatives embraced by the company.


    About Kobo, Inc.

Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.3 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 is also available at leading retailers including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy, Borders, WHSmith, Angus & Robertson's, and Whitcoull's. Kobo's recently announced, innovative Reading Life marked the launch of an industry-first comprehensive social eReading experience - Kobo users can earn awards simply for time spent reading. Kobo is backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music Inc, Cheung Kong Holdings, and institutional investors.

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM assumes no obligations or liability and makes no representation, warranty, endorsement or guarantee in relation to any aspect of any third party products or services.

    Contact:  Karina Tang/Kourtney Schepman
              Rogers & Cowan



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