Yesterday BlackBerry announced its new PlayBook tablet computer and Kobo’s eReading platform is integrated into the new device.
The Kobo application is integrated directly with BlackBerry Messenger in a move to make digital reading a social experience. Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis explains the social functions in a blog post: “The app will let readers Shop with a friend, read with a group, exchange passages, and discuss the book in real-time. I’m really excited about this.”
It does sound compelling, but there is something nice about not socializing while you are reading, which is why single-function devices like the Kindle do so well. They keep out the distractions and keep the book the center of attention. Still it could be an interesting way to prepare for book club meetings and for book publishers to market to customers.
Amazon also has an app ready for the new tablet, which is slated for release in 2011.