By: Nicole D'Andria
Remember when Amazon acquired comiXology (the most popular online digital comic book store) and I said I was optimistic about it?
Yeah, this is why I’m always cautiously optimistic.
Apparently, to avoid paying any transaction fees to Google or Apple, Amazon has changed the comiXology app. In the recent update, many users were upset to find out that you can no longer buy comic books using the iOS app. Instead, you must buy comics using the website and they will sync to the app when it’s opened. This won’t be a problem for Android users, however, but they cannot use Google Wallet to purchase comics. They have to register and use either a credit card or a Paypal account, another way to cut Google out from the profits.
Another change that has upset people is that the apps will not be notified when there are sales. To be notified about the sale, you now have to sign up for comiXology’s newsletter.
Honestly, I don’t think this will hurt comiXology or be that much of an irritation for users. I have the app for my phone but I hate shrinking comic books down to that size. I prefer reading it on my computer anyway and can easily buy comics while I'm there… if I’m not reading a physical copy, that is. I know the changes make purchasing the comics and finding out about the sales a bit of a hassle… but isn’t that a first world problem right there? There are people who can’t make enough to eat and yet everyone’s so upset that you can’t buy comics using a phone and instead have to use a computer.
However will we go on?
Amazon realizes this will upset users, so they have created some incentive to upgrade. According to the company in a blog post, "...to thank our loyal customers and ease this transition, we are offering a $5 eGift Card credit to all those who have purchased through the comiXology platform in the past... This credit will be automatically applied throughout the day to those accounts who are eligible and all of those eligible have 30 days to purchase books with that credit. Enjoy."
Many users are venting their frustrations online, but comiXology isn’t in danger yet. These public frustrations are free publicity after all. Plus, things could always be worse…