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Kobo stops using the Amazon-owned Goodreads API

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Maybe this was inevitable since Amazon (s AMZN) acquired book-based social network Goodreads (see disclosure), but Kobo has stopped using the Goodreads API on its website and in its apps, Good E-Reader reports.

That means no more Goodreads ratings and reviews on Kobo book pages. It sounds as if the decision was driven by Kobo, not Goodreads or Amazon: The company’s chief content officer Michael Tamblyn tells Good E-reader that Kobo might re-add the Goodreads API in the future. And back in March when Amazon acquired Goodreads, the companies told me they would leave the Goodreads API open and would not shut off the Kobo feed. (Update: Goodreads confirmed it’s made no changes to its API.)

Nonetheless, the move demonstrates the risk of relying on what is now a competing retailer’s API. At one point, Goodreads actually encountered a similar problem itself: In early 2012, it stopped sourcing its book data from Amazon’s API, switching over to book wholesaler Ingram’s data instead. Even now, Goodreads says, it’s using metadata from a mixture of sources — Ingram, WorldCat and ONIX feeds.

Disclosure: Goodreads is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of GigaOM/paidContent.

3 Responses to “Kobo stops using the Amazon-owned Goodreads API”

  1. tomesofthesoul

    This was a very predictable move from Kobo; it was not going to use a competitors api. Not a great move for Kobo readers who have lost easy access to a large number of reviews and it is unlikely a Kobo only ratings system will generate anywhere near as many reviews as Goodreads/Amazon.

  2. Carroll Absolom Bryant

    Let’s hope Kobo stays away from Goodreads. Their rating system, as is with Amazon, is deeply flawed. Read Rick Carufel’s comment to understand why their rating system is so flawed.

  3. Nice work trolls!! This week you’ve driven several thousand members from badreads and Kobo has stopped the badreads feed because of the bogus reviews costing Amazon millions in revenues. Maybe this is the kick in the butt Amazon needed to realize the trolls on both sites are a serious liability. No forums have survived a serious troll infestation like the one now in the happy little Amazon family of websites. When they all get back to work on Tuesday and see the losses caused by you trolls I suspect there will be big changes, changes that will root out the criminals who have just this week caused huge damages in members and revenues. Got a new sub title for my book “Suffer Not a Troll to Live.” The Stalker Troll Purge of 2013. Like it? Enjoy your last weekend of Stalking losers.