Random House, Inc., announces major updates to its BookScout app in conjunction with Facebook’s improved timeline and About page. Launched in January, BookScout enables book lovers to share their favorite reads with friends and view personalized recommendations on Facebook. As part of Facebook’s announcements today, people can now choose to add their BookScout activity to their Books section on their timeline. Based on feedback and early testing, BookScout development updates also include tablet optimization and enhanced social sharing functionality. The new tablet version allows users to access the app on-the-go from their favorite tablet, while new social capabilities such as What’s Popular Among Your Friends and Share To My Timeline, provide more opportunities to connect and engage with BookScout users and friends across Facebook.
Feedback from Facebook members has been and will continue to be a key component in our efforts to provide the best book discovery and social reading experience with BookScout,’ says Amanda Close, Random House’s Senior Vice President, Digital Marketplace Development. ‘With this refresh, we make it easier than ever to engage with BookScout on your tablet, see what your friends are reading and share the books you want to discuss.’
Since launch, people have added over 27,000 books to their BookScout shelves and have Liked over 21,000 titles from Random House, Inc. and other publishers. The most popular titles on BookScout are The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. The most selected category for book recommendations is Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, followed by Science Fiction & Fantasy and Children’s & Young Adult. As BookScout evolves, the app will continue to refine recommendations.
BookScout was initially soft launched two months ago to Random House employees, and quickly caught on among readers on Facebook, with over 4,200 users to date. Facebook members return to BookScout again and again to spend time viewing recommendations and share their reads. The app boasts a high 63 percent return rate and above average engagement rate of approximately 7 minutes per visit. In the coming weeks, readers can expect to see additional updates including Smartphone optimization and even more tailored book recommendations.