So in a pretty convoluted story with a straightforward beginning, Amazon has announced that it will be purchasing the social book network Shelfari. Just last month, Amazon also purchased AbeBooks…which is a minority investor in LibraryThing.
So Amazon buys a competitor to a service that they, in effect, already own part of. I can see them wanting Shelfari for the interface, especially as part of a “next generation” Kindle device. But Shelfari doesn’t have much else for Amazon to want, honestly…Shelfari relies on the Amazon book data to begin with, so they don’t have any data that will improve Amazon in any way (except the little bit of social data that can be scraped from the site).
There’s a long discussion about this over on LibraryThing, where Tim is talking the thing out in his open and transparent style. I don’t think this is going to hurt LibraryThing at all…they have better book data, for one, and Amazon now has to fit Shelfari into its systems, which will take a looooong time.
Has anyone seen a value given for the Shelfari acquisition? I’m curious what Amazon paid for them.
Here’s hoping this doesn’t cause Tim too many sleepless nights.