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Now Google Play Books Much Smarter For Better Book Recommendations

Google Play Books Gets Discover Feature for Better Book Recommendations

Now Google Play Books Much Smarter For Better Book Recommendations

Google Play Books is announcing the new feature that claims to offer better reading recommendations. The feature is called Discover and is rolling out to iOS, Android, and the Web in 75 countries. Amazon's Kindle ebook service has had personalized recommendations for a long time now, but Google Play Books tries to go beyond just recommending books.

Google Play will provide a regularly updated selection of books that have been combined from a collection of hot titles around the web, and computer-generated picks of stories based on our browsing history and habits.

The new Discover feature will help recommend books based on news reviews, stories, lists, and videos from around the web, helping us stay on top of what’s current and popular. Google’s algorithms are tuned to help surface the right stories based on the books we read on Play Books, too. So if we are reading an article or watching a video, Discover will automatically pull out the books that are mentioned and recommend them to us. 

"The feature is designed to enhance your reading experience even further by helping you discover new books and find what's right for you," Eric Stromberg, Google Play Books product manager, writes in a blog post.

The feature is now accessible in the Google Play Books app for Android. Users simply need to tap on the Discover tab to get the stories from around the web about a particular book. This could be the next hit book that is now being made into a movie, or a review that praises a book from a popular author.

All of these features sound like good additions to the Google Play Books service but the great challenge remains rival with Amazon in the ebook market. Amazon offers integration with Goodreads - possibly the world's most popular social network for bibliophiles. Sadly the integration isn't really what it should be. It doesn't go beyond a small button in the Kindle app and even on Amazon's ebook readers, the integration doesn't provide more than basic book recommendations.

Google hopes to control its algorithms to help us find better books and fill the gaps left by Amazon's ebook service. Though, will this be sufficient to make people switch over? Perhaps not, but it could make more people use Google Play Books.

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