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It’s Official: Dropbox Buys Readmill, Will Shut it Down in 3 Months

Readmill dropbox readmillhas just posted an official confirmation of yesterday’s acquisition story. They now belong to Dropbox, and the new owner is going to shut down Readmill:

Three years ago, we set out to create an open, independent reading platform. We believed that the reading experience could be beautiful and that it was meant to be shared.

Readmill’s story ends here. Many challenges in the world of ebooks remain unsolved, and we failed to create a sustainable platform for reading. For this, we’re deeply sorry. We considered every option before making the difficult decision to end the product that brought us together.

The announcement goes on to add that the Readmill team will be moving to Dropbox "where our expertise in reading, collaboration and syncing across devices finds a fitting home".

So Dropbox wants Readmill for their expertise in collaboration, hmm? That is exactly what I expected:

I think Dropbox wants to build online collaboration tools for its business customers.

I know it might sound strange for Dropbox to be interested in Readmill’s social reading platform, but Readmill currently enables readers to share note, highlights, and their other reading habits. That’s really only half a step away from what I think Dropbox wants, which is for 2 or more Dropbox users to edit a shared document online.

Three Guesses Why Dropbox Wants to Buy Readmill

Readmill was launched just over 3 years ago as a social reading platform. Initially available on the iPad, Readmill later launched an iPhone app and (5 months ago) an Android app.  Over time it also added support for Adobe DRM, thus giving readers an option for loading ebooks bought in major ebookstores.

Over the past year Readmill has also made a strong push to develop a network of over 100 other ebook firms, including integration with retailers like Gumroad and the Penguin UK ebookstore as well as reading apps like Marvin, Bookinist, and Librarus. Readmill acted as the focal point of that network, which will probably fall apart once the service is shut down.

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