Did you know that you can highlight an interesting passage in a Kindle book, and then share your thoughts about it on Facebook or Twitter? Highlighting has been available on the Kindle for a while, but in mid-2010, Amazon added the hook to social networks.
The information in this post is as old as the second generation eInk Kindle. For current Kindles and eReaders, there are basic instructions on your Kindle: Go to Help & Feedback and choose User Guide. Then choose Using Highlights, Bookmarks, and Notes or Sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
You can see all your highlights in your account at Amazon.com when you’re logged in at kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights. It’s very easy to accidentally highlight nonsensical phrases, so I recommend going to this page to delete the waxy buildup periodically!
For help using the Highlights & Notes feature, go to one of these help pages:
This feature doesn’t work exactly as expected, but what I first saw as a limitation would be a useful bonus for educators. That is, Kindle enables sharing your comment, but provides a link to the highlighted passage, not the quotation itself. Your highlights appear on a special page at amazon.com. If you’re a teacher, the page could conveniently collect seeds for class discussion!
How to enable sharing on your Kindle:
- First, use your Kindle to link your Amazon.com account to your social networks. Make sure Wireless is turned ON. Then, from Home, press Menu, and go to Settings, page 3, to find Social Networks. Select Manage.
- On the next screen, click the Link Account button for Facebook or Twitter
- Follow the on-screen instructions. You will be prompted to log in to your account. Make sure you enter your password slowly and carefully, using the keyboard. To enter numbers and special characters, press the SYM key and use the 5-Way Controller to move the cursor and select them. Font-size on the Twitter authentication screen is tiny and faint, so you may need to enlarge the font temporarily to see what you’re doing.
- If prompted, grant the Kindle application permission to access your account. Otherwise, this feature will not work.
- Go back Home and turn off Wireless from the Menu to save battery life.
Next time you want to share a comment on a passage in your book:
- Use the 5-Way controller to position the cursor and highlight the passage.
Type your comment in the note window. If you use Twitter, remember to keep it under 140 characters!
- Select Save & Share at the bottom of the note window to automatically post your comment on Facebook and Twitter. Note that a lnk to the highlighted passage is also posted, not the passage itself. The link goes to a special page on amazon.com that displays your highlights.
To share existing highlights or notes:
- Open the book that contains your highlights or notes.
- From the Menu, select “View My Notes & Marks.”
- Highlight the item you want to share.
- Press Alt+Back-Arrow on the keyboard
- Alternatively, go to the page that contains the highlighted passage or note, select it with the cursor and press Alt+Back-Arrow to share.
This great feature would be even better if you could select one of the social networks instead of automatically posting to both. I hope Amazon adds this capability to the Social Networks feature in a future Kindle software release.
julia bloom says
Has anyone noticed anything about a limit to how long your shared highlight can be? I highlighted a paragraph in my e-book, shared it to Facebook, but on Facebook the passage was cut off after roughly 100 words.
Took me a while to find something official about a limit. In the documentation there’s a note in parentheses about a 100-character limit on Notes, but I don’t see anything similar about Highlights. I’ve also seen “100 words” mentioned as the comment box limit on blogs, but haven’t been able to verify that on Amazon. The only reference I’ve found so far is on the Amazon UK site: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200504380#share.
Facebook status/group/wall posts used to have a limit of 420 characters (which would be about 100 words), but that was increased to 63206 characters in November 2011.
There is a limitation that I wish was not there: one can’t share onto a Page they administer, only to their personal profile wall, correct? I administer several different pages, and there are professional highlights that I would want to have posted. Many of my personal FB friends have no use for some of the professional material I would like shared.
I really don’t know. I was wondering what would happen if you shared a highlight while switched to Use Facebook as Page. I haven’t seen any discussions about sharing highlights to admin pages. Seems like it would be a useful capability.