Scribd has launched a mobile application that lets users of the social network centered on document sharing to send content to electronic readers and smartphones.
The "send-to-device" feature unveiled Wednesday makes it possible for Scribd users to send non-copyrighted documents, which account for the vast majority of content on the site, from their PCs to mobile devices. Scribd has more than 10 million documents on the site.
Today, Scribd users can send documents directly to Amazon's Kindle over the e-readers' wireless connection. Amazon charges a fee of 15 cents per megabyte for the transfers. For other e-readers, such as Barnes & Noble's Nook and Sony Readers, the devices have to be plugged into the PC. Scribd users can then drag content from the site to the e-readers.
In March, Scribd plans to release software that device makers can embed into their devices to give customers easy access to Scribd to search and download content. E-reader manufacturers that have signed on for the application include Interead and Onyx International.
Also in March, Scribd plans to release mobile applications for Apple's iPhone, Resarch In Motion's BlackBerry, and smartphones runnning Google's Android operating system. The company also plans to make PDF documents on the site available in the EPUB format, an open document standard that gaining traction in the industry.
While Scribd sells some content on its site, the majority is free. The company makes money by wrapping ads around the content. Content distributed to mobile devices will not carry ads initially, but could in the future.
For now, the San Francisco company is hoping to build its site, which attracts between 40 million and 50 million readers a month, into a content hub for users to post and read amateur and professional content.
"Scribd is in a perfect position to become the hub for mobile reading, the place where content creators come to easily publish their works and build a readership and where consumers come to find what they want to read on whatever device they want," Trip Adler, co-founder and chief executive of Scribd, said in a statement.
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