Monday, May 2, 2011

Why Isn't Twitter Connected to Amazon's "Look Inside" Feature?

One of my complaints with the first-gen Kindle was that there was no way to quickly tweet book excerpts.  The new Kindle lets you tweet as you read, of course, but it's a cumbersome process.  How many key combinations does it take to send a single tweet?!

Process aside, I'm very disappointed with the way Amazon handles the excerpts you want to point to.  For example, I'm reading Jane Leavy's terrific biography of Mickey Mantle called The Last Boy.  I came across a cool link in the book pointing to a simulation of a tape-measure home run Mantle hit at Yankee Stadium in 1963 (go here and click on mantle_hr_63 to see it yourself).  Here's the result of tweeting the excerpt:

This wasn't at all what I expected to point my Twitter followers to.

If you go to this book's Amazon page you'll see the "Look Inside" feature has been enabled for it.  That means you can flip through the book a bit before you buy it.  Why in the world doesn't Amazon take Twitter followers right to the book page I tweeted via "Look Inside"?  Followers could then read more than what I included in my tweet.  More importantly, they'd be right there on the product page, able to "1-click buy" it on the spot.

The Twitter functionality shown above is a small step forward from the complete lack of Twitter connectivity Amazon offered with Kindle 1.0.  But Amazon is really missing the boat here by simply showing the short excerpt I pulled for the tweet.  And just to add salt to the open wound, why isn't that url in the excerpt live?  I know Amazon hates sending customers to sites off, but jeez, they're doing customers a disservice by making them type in that simulation link.

I hope Amazon takes this to heart and utilizes "Look Inside" in some future release of the Kindle platform.  I don't see a lot of value in tweeting any more excerpts without "Look Inside" connectivity.