Amazon Buys Goodreads Recommendation Engine To Weave Into Kindle

What's the company that owns the Kindle brand to do? Why, buy a social reading engine, of course! Some deals just don't make sense (anyone recall HP buying Palm?), but others -- like this one -- couldn't be more perfect. Amazon's reading ecosystem has grown into its own monster, with the Kindle brand becoming nearly as powerful and recognizable as the Amazon brand. Over the years, Kindle has grown to mean more than just E Ink-based readers. Now, there's the tablet line, the reader line, and even the app line, bringing Kindle to Android, iOS, Windows 8 and more. It's clear that Amazon understands the value in bolstering ecosystems, just as Apple has reveled in keeping people wrapping up within iOS + iTunes.

Now, Amazon's buying Goodreads -- a reading recommendation service with around 16 million members. The company is remaining cagey about its plans, but it's pretty obvious that it'll soon become a vital part of the Kindle ecosystem. Imagine a situation where your friends like and recommend books, and you can easily take those recommendations into account when looking for your next piece of literature. Goodreads intends to remain its own entity, operating outside of the Kindle world for its existing users, but it's obvious that the company's future will mostly thrive within the Kindle universe.