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Kobo creates ebook clubs on BlackBerry

Kobo is using the new third-party access to the BlackBerry Messenger communications framework to add chat to your paperback.

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Joseph Hanlon
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Opening up the BlackBerry Messenger peer-to-peer communications service to third-party developers has the potential to deliver some unique apps for the BlackBerry OS. Ebook seller Kobo showcased one such concept during DevCon 2010, an ebook reader with a social slant.

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Profiler

As with most social apps, the first step is letting it know who you are. You then have the choice whether to keep your ebook club "friends only" or try to find like-minded people by going public.

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Just like a trip to the shops

Once connected to your friends you can choose what to read next in your ebook club and shop for it together.

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The crux of the chatter

At its core, this is what introducing the BlackBerry Messenger framework provides: free, real-time chat about the books you're reading.

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Annotate this!

The Kobo reader will let you make annotations and highlight passages to send to your ebook club.

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Peer-to-peer pressure

Voila! The real reason behind ebook clubs: friends pressuring friends to buy new books!

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In-app purchases

Watch out Nadia! Remember how Jen suggested Eat Pray Love and that turned out to be a pile of soppy pulp?

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Sweet acceptance

Jokes aside, this is a very cool concept. If you go through your personal catalogue of apps you'll realise dozens of them could be improved by adding this kind of communication into them. Stay tuned for more of the same as we cross the showroom floor at DevCon 2010.

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