Forget the gift card, Kindle e-books can now be gifted directly

Amazon today announced that customers can now give Kindle books as gifts to anyone with an e-mail address for consumption on any Kindle app or dedicated e-reader.

In the Kindle Store on Amazon, books have a new button marked "Give as a Gift." When clicked, users are prompted to enter the recipient's email address, and are given the option to include a personal message. The books can be viewed in any Kindle app or device.

"We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift," said Amazon Kindle VP Russ Grandinetti in a statement on Friday. "We're making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone - not just Kindle owners."

Historically, giving digital content has not been this direct and simple. To give someone a music album on iTunes, for example, customers had to resort to giving generic gift certificates and gift cards.
It wasn't until recently that iTunes Gift functionality was opened, and in March Apple extended the functionality with "Gift this App."

The upcoming holiday season will be the first to have direct gifting of music, apps, and e-books available to consumers.

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