Amazon is shutting down their Kindle support forums on October 13th and they are encouraging all of their users to switch to GoodReads and Amazon Spark. The company also announced they are going to be rolling out an expanding help experience next week.
In a statement on the Kindle Forums Amazon said the following “Amazon would like to thank the members of this community for contributing to the discussion forums. As we grow and evolve, we encourage you to explore Goodreads Groups for books and Spark for other ways to engage with your interests. If you have a help question about your device, starting the morning of October 9th , Pacific Standard Time, we will be introducing an improved help forum experience, with expanded discussion categories.”
Amazon Spark is an Instagram-style shoppable feed that appears inside the Amazon app for customers in the United States. Obviously, there’s a profit motive behind Spark. Amazon is trying to keep engagement about products within its own ecosystem rather than on other social media channels. The belief is that the closer people are to the conversion point, the more likely it is that they’ll convert.
“We created Spark to allow customers to discover – and shop – stories and ideas from a community that likes what they like,” said an Amazon spokeswoman. When customers first visit Spark, they select at least five interests they’d like to follow and we’ll create a feed of relevant content contributed by others. Customers shop their feed by tapping on product links or photos with the shopping bag icon.”
I doubt the Kindle loyalists will switch to Spark, which is only available for Android iOS and you have to be a Prime member to even use it. You can view the content and not be a member. GoodReads seems like a viable alternative, but book discussions tend to be very hit or miss. Likely, many people will switch to the Kindle Boards or MobileRead or participate in discussions on Kindle related issues on Good e-Reader.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.