Barnes & Noble may not be the retail bookstore giant it once was but that hasn't stopped the company from re-imagining itself as a social network provider for book lovers everywhere. In fact, that's exactly what the company did this week with the launch of a new social networking app called Browsery by Barnes & Noble. Unlike other apps, however, this one doesn't center around the day-to-day lives of its users or the sharing of media - user-generated or otherwise. Instead, the premise of the free app, which is also free to use, is that aid readers and those who discuss books passionately should have their own place to interact. Moreover, it is a place for authors and readers to connect, in addition to being a great place to discover new books.
The key features of Browsery, as mentioned above, center around books themselves. After signing into the app with a free Barnes & Noble account, users are asked about their favorite book genres, ranging from historical nonfiction to comic books. They can even add their own genres to see if anybody else on the network favors their own unique taste in reading material. After finalizing a profile, the app takes users directly to the home page, which features a stream of recommendations and user questions about books topped off by a featured "question of the day." In between those are other featured questions, some of which are asked by prominent authors themselves. Users and authors alike are free to respond to inquiries and participation in any of the discussions is, of course, optional. Meanwhile, books shared on the site can be bought or sampled directly from Barnes & Nobles online bookstore. Users can also build up their own book library and reading lists to provide other's on the network with insights into their preferences. As with any other social network, a profile picture and short bio can also be added for those who choose to get more involved.
While a reading-based social network is certainly not going to appeal to every smartphone user, this app is certainly worth a look for fans of the activity. Operation of the app is smooth and the network already seems to be filled with a substantial number of users since its launch just a few days ago. That means that there's already plenty of interaction going on and plenty to talk about. It's also available for any device running Android 4.4 (KitKat) and newer, so anybody interested is going to want to hit the Google Play Store button below.