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Refer friends and earn borrow requests!

We’re launching a brand new feature today: Referral codes!

As of about 10 minutes ago, every Lendle user now has a unique referral code. Find out what your code is by clicking the Find friends link or by visiting your account page.

Tweet it, update your Facebook status with it, email it, get a tattoo of it, shave it into your head — do whatever you like with it — and when someone signs up for Lendle using your referral code, you’ll earn two borrow requests.

New users have seven days to enter a code (the option to do so is located on that user’s account page) so if someone you’ve referred forgets, they have plenty of time to get your referral in.

Even better, if someone signs up using your code, you’ll automatically follow each other. 

There’s no limit on how many people you can refer, so get busy, help us grow Lendle, and we’ll help you read the books you love!

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So long Kindle Store button; we hardly used you.

The sudden removal of the “Kindle Store” button in Amazon’s iOS Kindle app is getting a surprising amount of coverage, given that Apple issued the infamous “our way or the highway” ultimatum months ago. Still, the reminder that such a button once existed prompted us to ask the following question on Twitter:

iOS Kindle users: How often do (did) you actually click the “buy” link to get to the Kindle store, anyway?

We’re certainly not going to argue that the response is scientific, or even statistically telling, but it does support our general hunch — and our own usage patterns — which is that not many people were actually making use of the button even when it was available:

timdanner

Never. Normal for me: find a book on amazon.com, send sample to my Kindle 2, then (maybe) buy book from there. Add to iOS later.

CleaveLands

I’ve never used it.

kyleslattery

Never. I’ve also never bought a book from my Kindle. Browsing on my Mac is just a way better experience.

sparrowlight

Maybe 20 times total in 2 years of using the app.

megsleigh

It never worked for me.

brookstravis

Never.

We did have one dissenting response:

maxlexi

alot

In fairness, app store reviews for the new “buttonless” version of the iOS Kindle app are overwhelmingly negative, many falling in at one star. Given the publicity, though, that’s to be expected. App Store reviewers are a harsh mistress.

Amazon undoubtedly has click-through reports which would validate the presence of the now defunct button, assuming it was ever seeing a lot of use. Amazon didn’t put up much of a fight, though. Perhaps our hunch is correct and they can’t be bothered to defend a feature that no one was using?

SplatF’s Dan Frommer (formerly of Silicon Alley Insider) weighed in on the change:

This is a worse customer experience. Amazon’s service — and Apple’s devices — are now slightly harder and clumsier to use. And it’s Apple’s fault.

Anil Dash echoes that sentiment on Twitter:

Now that my Kindle and Kobo apps have lost their “buy” buttons, my reading experience is so much better! Thanks, Apple!

Is the experience now worse, though? 

If anything, it seems inelegant to expect a user to launch the Kindle app in order to push a button which then launches Mobile Safari. Why not just launch Mobile Safari in the first place? Better yet, why not create a home screen bookmark that links directly to the Kindle Store? (Amazon even made an iOS friendly icon for this purpose.)

Kindle Store in Mobile Safari > Add to Home Screen > There is no step 3.

You’re welcome.

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Improved Twitter and Facebook Integration

We’ve provided options for signing up / signing in via Twitter and Facebook for some time now, but we’re now expanding on that to make things a bit easier and also to extend some of our social features to your Twitter feeds.

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