Amazon’s New Kindle Tablets Optimized For Facebook

Amazon is launching a new line of Kindle tablets, complete with Facebook integration and a custom Facebook application.

Amazon is launching a new line of Kindle tablets, complete with Facebook integration and a custom Facebook application.

Facebook worked closely with Amazon to optimize the Kindle experience for Facebook users. Kindle users will not get a Facebook app built by Amazon using the Facebook application-programming interface as a third-party developer: They will enjoy an app created by Facebook itself just for the Kindle platform.

This Facebook app for Kindle and other Facebook integrations could motivate users of the social network to try out the Kindle Fire HD, which Amazon called a high-quality, economical alternative to Apple’s iPad tablet.

The new Kindles are currently available for pre-order.

Facebook Photo Integration

Facebook photos are easily downloaded to the Amazon Kindle Fire. In fact, “Facebook Import” was one of the only features of the Kindle’s newly released Photos app.

The Photos app is part of the main navigation of the Kindle Fire HD devices, so accessing Facebook photos is just two steps away when users turn on their new Kindles.

Kindles offer to import users’ Facebook photo galleries into the “Amazon Cloud Drive” service being sold with the Kindle. It apparently only takes a few minutes for Facebook users to get all of their photos from Facebook’s servers to Amazon’s servers, after which Amazon makes those photos available on users’ Kindle Fire tablets.

Kindle Fire HD devices feature industry-leading Wi-Fi speeds and amazing display technologies. Apparently, importing Facebook users’ photos is a big part of how Amazon will spur usage around these selling points.

But be careful: Importing all of a user’s Facebook photos to Kindle may exceed their bandwidth cap on the new Amazon data plan, which offers 250 megabits per month in downloads via the AT&T network. No wonder Amazon is syncing Facebook albums to their cloud first, and not the device. Will there be a special exception made by Amazon for Facebook photo imports?

It was not evident if or how users can export photos from their Kindles to their Facebook galleries.

Facebook App For Kindle Fire HD

Facebook worked closely with Amazon to build a new, custom app for the Kindle Fire. This Facebook app will launch with the devices Nov. 20. The social network tailored its app experience to take advantage of the Kindle Fire HD’s advanced tablet hardware and software.

Kindle uses Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as its operating system, but an Amazon product executive said to think of it simply as “Linux” because it was so heavily modified by Amazon.

Android improvements include amazing user-interface innovations and close integration with the high-end hardware packed into the Kindle. Amazon contributes back to the Android open source community. However, many of the Linux software programming improvements to Android made for the Kindle remain proprietary to Amazon.

We were not able to actually use the Facebook app, as it was not part of the floor demo apps. Look for more coverage here.

Post Kindle Content To Facebook

Kindle owners can share content with Facebook friends. Amazon makes it easy to highlight parts of the books users are reading, and then post those excerpts to friends’ news feeds. Facebook users can even share entire books with friends if those friends are also Kindle users.

Social platform integration existed in previous generations of Kindles. However, it is apparently gaining critical mass. Authors who publish on Kindle say it’s simply amazing to see what readers are highlighting about books in real time — “like doing a book reading with a very large group of strangers.”

It will be interesting to see the communities that develop between readers and authors on top of Facebook’s social graph.

There were no Facebook user data related to Kindle sharing making it back to the Kindle platform — it was just published out to the Facebook graph.

Amazon, The Studios, And Facebook

Amazon positions the Kindle Fire HD as a high-end media-consumption tablet.

Facebook is an emerging force in media consumption. Apparently, the social network is highly motivated to get its media-sharing experience right on the Kindle.

Amazon chose Los Angeles as the location for the big event to launch its new lines of Kindles, apparently to gain the attention of the entertainment industry. There were indeed studio executives in attendance.

We will see how the relationship evolves between Amazon and the entertainment industry, and Facebook’s role in it.

Thanks to Tricia Duryee at AllThingsD for the tip about the event, and to The Outcast Agency for the press pass.

Recommended articles