6C4651B9-08C4-4696-9D87-B950455CF3F8If you don’t think there’s enough book-related content in your social media, one solution would be to join a social media network that’s strictly book-related. This is the goal behind new social media service Litsy, which intends to be a sort of “Instagram of books.”

Litsy has an app available for iOS, and plans to have an Android app available soon. Since it’s original release this spring, it has accrued about 20,000 users. Posts can be blurbs, reviews, or quotes, but are limited to only 300 characters, and must all be linked to a specific book (which can be searched via title, author, or ISBN). They may also include an image, such as the book’s cover, but you have to supply the image yourself.

I gave it a try on my iPad Mini 2, and it turned out to be simple enough to use. I do wish it had an option to fetch the cover art for the book when you search it to post about it, though. I don’t generally have the cover art handy on my iPad, and going to find it would be more hassle than I want to do for a social media post.

Some authors, publishers, and bookstores have been using the network for promotion, because of its unique focus on books. Joe Hill’s The Fireman garnered 101 individual posts during Hill’s pre-publication promotion of it.

Jocelyn Shratter, who runs the website and IT for Bookshop Santa Cruz, said she likes Litsy’s focus on books. “While specific aspects are familiar from other social media apps, Litsy is unique in its book-centricity—which is why it’s so great. Litsy lets us get back to the heart of the Bookshop—sharing books we love with our customers and community, and helping people discover, share, and talk about books they love in a safe and creative environment,” Shratter said.

I’m a little skeptical that the world really needs yet another social network—after all, nothing’s stopping you from posting about e-books in your own Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.—but on the other hand, if you are interested in books, it could be a great way to share material from your favorites and find good reading recommendations from like-minded individuals. Hopefully it will come out with an Android client pretty soon.  Given how many more people use Android than iOS, that should give it a good shot of growing its audience even further.

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TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.


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