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Goodreads doubles membership despite Amazon controversy

The social media reading website Goodreads angered many earlier this year when they became affiliated with Amazon, but the company recently announced they doubled their membership in 11 months.

By Staff Writer / July 24, 2013

Goodreads recently announced that it had doubled its membership, jumping to 20 million members from 10 million 11 months ago.

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Despite a furor in the literary world when the social media reading website Goodreads was acquired by Amazon, Goodreads has doubled its membership in 11 months, from 10 million to 20 million, according to the site.

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When Amazon became affiliated with the website in March, many in the reading community were angered, with some vowing to close their Goodreads accounts. 

“Too bad,” a commenter named Wendi wrote on the site at the time. “Another good independent thing bites the dust. Happy for you and the money you'll make off the cool thing you started; sad for me, and sad for the internet, which will soon be owned by Amazon and Facebook.”

Goodreads founder Otis Chandler said he saw three factors that led to the website’s increase in membership. The site has “a critical mass of book reviews,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch, meaning that chances are good a visitor will find a review for the title they’re looking for. Chandler said the site had also experienced increased visibility internationally and that the growth for mobile devices has been
 “explosive.”

Chandler told TechCrunch the site plans to offer versions of Goodreads that are tailored specifically to foreign countries soon.

TechCrunch writer Anthony Ha wrote that Chandler “expects that being owned by Amazon will also contribute to growth.”

The comments left on the Goodreads blog post which announced the membership growth were almost uniformly congratulatory.

“Congratulations,” a user named Sarah wrote. “Wonder how many new members joined after the Amazon acquisition compared to the previous 6 months. Looks like maybe Amazon was a good thing after all."

Meanwhile, a user named Jeanine posted, “Thank you so much for a great job – I recommend you continually to my friends! Here's to many more years and many, many more members!!!”

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