"...On entering the site, users begin to travel through the world of Harry Potter and the [Sorceror’s] Stone, following in the footsteps of Harry and learning new facts about his world as they open an account at the goblin bank Gringotts, travel up and down Diagon Alley shopping for equipment for school and choosing a wand. Unlocking new content as they progress through the storyline, they can click on and collect items for their “trunk,” build and evolve their profiles, adding their own drawings, collecting books and chocolate frog cards, learning spells and brewing potions. A Pottermore account can also be connected to a Facebook account, with users able to make friends—and even take part in wizarding duels once they reach a certain point on the website.
Comments from early users are already positive: “This is amaazing,” writes IceDragon, while another user praised the “Beautiful artwork!” “This is very cool. Very unique website. I love the extra content,” said CrimsonDream55, but NoxThorn88 “would have expected a little more action.”
“I think Pottermore has the potential to be a lasting focal point for the Harry Potter brand—The Leaky Cauldron for the fans. I think the fact that it incorporates new content, a social networking element, and is also the only place people will be able to buy the e-books will prove to be quite a potent combination. . . . Having the e-books there exclusively is a bit of a masterstroke in terms of ensuring people visit the site and engage with it, as is the way they are going to stagger the release of the content,” said Charlotte Williams from the Bookseller, an early user of the site. “It’ll be interesting to see whether it can act as a first port of call and draw new readers to the books, or whether it’ll more be used by existing diehard Potterites....”