Continuing to expand upon its Kindle platform, Amazon today announced launch of “Kindle for the Web,” a new service that will allow users to sample e-books directly through their browsers with no download required. The concept is not all that different from Amazon's current ability to let book publishers share several pages of their books for customers to read before buying anything, but as you’d expect there’s also has a social-networking component to it.

In a nutshell, Amazon will allow users to read the first chapter of a book for free on their browsers. These chapters can be shared through Facebook, Twitter and e-mail to let everyone know what they're reading. Additionally, bloggers, authors, writers or any member of Amazon’s Associates Program can embed samples of Kindle books on their websites and earn referral fees from Amazon when other people buys a book using the links on their websites.


Amazon is pitching this as a book discovery tool and hasn’t given any indications that it plans to offer full-text versions of books via web, though the idea doesn’t sound too far-fetched if the company wants to break away from a dependence on native apps. Kindle for the Web is currently in beta form and a preview of the service is available here. The company says it expects to optimize the new service for mobile browsers in the future and add new features.