The battle of the book apps.
Created by the founders of Out of Print, Litsy has been described as ‘Goodreads meets Instagram’ which is the most apt description possible. The app’s interface is far more like Instagram or Facebook, with a feed of posts, the option to like and comment on users activity and most importantly a visual focus with the ability to post photos. Since photo oriented platforms are quickly surpassing the previously comment or statement focused ones, Litsy is clearly targetting a successful social media trend.
As yet though Litsy is only just starting out, and for many whose friends aren’t yet on the site there is a noticeable lack of content. Obviously this issue will be irrelevant as it grows in popularity but for now it does limit the enjoyment you can get out of the site. So with this in mind how will it stand up to the much loved and successful Goodreads?
Pros: Shelves. Shelves are the best thing about Goodreads allowing book needs to organise their reading lists like never before. Being able to record what you have read and when is a satisfying sense of achievement, particularly when using it towards the Reading Challenge. The ratings and reviews create tailored recommendations while book groups offer the chance to discuss books you love with like-minded people.
Cons: It can be difficult to make Goodreads social as their isn’t a lot of space for interaction. I’ve also noticed a few people say that keeping it up to date and seeing what other people are reading causes a feeling of pressure that you aren’t keeping up or reading what’s right.
Pros: You can post about anything, as long as it’s tagged to a book. You can upload images, and edit them through creative cloud, which makes it visually stimulating and exciting, and allows us to create a world related to the book outside of it. It’s more fluid and spontaneous than the uber organised Goodreads. It’s more like a social media platform, so you can see posts by other users immediately on your news feed and you can interact with people. You can rate and review and have what you are currently reading logged as part of your profile.
Cons: Reviews are restricted to 300 characters, which is a bit limiting and the rating system goes straight from ‘like’ to ‘so-so’ leaving no room for the books you love. While you have ‘read’ and ‘to-read’ shelves there is no further way of organising this and it simply appears as an unorganised list, making me question the purpose of logging books since that doesn’t earn you Litfluence. Equally if Goodreads has reading pressure, Litfluence is definitely social pressure.
With more users Litsy has the potential to be amazing, but I’m not 100% sure it will overtake it completely. It may seem like sitting on the fence but I think I will use these apps side by side and let them compliment each other to get the best of both worlds. I prefer to see that as leaving the gate in the fence open – why choose one when you can have both?