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Posted on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 10:33 a.m.

Barnes & Noble takes control of Borders' social media pages

By Nathan Bomey

Borders' web presence is gradually fading.

Competitor Barnes & Noble, which paid $13.9 million in a bankruptcy auction to acquire most of Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc.'s intellectual property, has already shut down Borders' website.


Barnes & Noble has taken control of Borders' social media presence, including its Facebook account.

Details of the intellectual property auction have not been released — but it appears that the nation's largest bookstore chain also paid to acquire Borders' social media presence.

Now, Barnes & Noble has taken control of Borders' Facebook and Twitter accounts. And it looks like the accounts won't be around much longer.

"As the world's largest bookstore, Barnes & Noble uniquely appreciates the importance bookstores play in local communities & we're very sorry that Borders has closed," Barnes & Noble said in a post on Borders' Facebook page. "We welcome you to join the B&N Facebook community to continue your love of reading with recommendations, deals & more. We’ll be here for a few weeks to help you discover all that B&N offers but hope you’ll join our B&N Facebook page to see for yourself."

On Borders' Twitter page, Barnes & Noble posted: "Barnes & Noble appreciates the role bookstores play & we are sorry that Borders closed. Pls follow @BNBuzz to continue your love of reading."

If Barnes & Noble follows through and wipes out Borders' social media presence, it will mark a rare moment in which a major corporation intentionally gives up an direct audience of hundreds of thousands of potential customers.

Borders has more than 894,000 fans on Facebook and more than 233,000 followers on Twitter. Barnes & Noble has more than 944,000 fans on Facebook and more than 32,000 followers on Twitter.

Borders completed the liquidation of its remaining stores in September. More than 10,000 workers lost their jobs.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


say it plain

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

So all you social media users out there for whom this might be 'interesting' lol.... Is facebook and twitter a better way to manage all your online and other consumption lives than email (and some businesses still actually mail out catalogs, wow!), or do you feel similarly inundated by attempts to get you to buy something you don't really want or need?

say it plain

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

Thanks, I appreciate your response @Shaun Manning! If you'd be willing to offer up some names of companies that 'do good social media' I'd appreciate that too :-)

Shaun Manning

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

Social media, like anything else, can be used well and can be used poorly, both from a business and a consumer standpoint. A well-run company social media site can be more informal and inviting, interactive in a way that email typically isn't, can respond to customer praise and criticism immediately and transparently, etc.; now, as a consumer, I also like SM for a lot of these reasons--I feel like I'm dealing with a more human presence (sometimes true, sometimes not), I can interact with or ignore posts as I see fit, and so on. I don't follow a lot of brands, but the ones I do typically offer something beyond "come into our store and buy X," although of course I realize that is a component of the deal.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

Did any of the Borders Express stores in the US stay open? I am overseas, and I was very (happily) surprised to see a Borders Express store open (with no signs of an impending closure) when I went to a local mall.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

The stores in the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia were franchises that will remain open. The franchisees purchased the right to use Borders' name and logos in perpetuity at the action several weeks ago. I'm happy the Borders name is living on...

say it plain

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Oh, then @Renee, I'm glad to hear that your Borders Express store was open and I hope it stays that way! (I admit to knowing nothing about the international operations and whether someone bought them or what...)


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

The bookstore situation here (both virtual and brick and mortar) is relatively nonexistent. There isn't really mail here either, so I don't think anyone is buying books online. There are a few small bookstores, and the big hypermarkets have some books, but reading just doesn't seem to be very popular. I don't know about Europe, but my little corner of the Arabian Peninsula doesn't have many options. :/

say it plain

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

Ooh, interesting! How is the brick and mortar bookstore situation where you are?! Somehow I feel like there must be more of them via small chains and more vibrant independents than there are in the US, at least in Europe...but I really don't know why I have that feeling ;-)


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

B&N did the same thing when they purchased the Computer Literacy Bookstore & Fatbrain. Those brands were merged into Barnes & Noble. Sad but not surprising.