Push Pop Press developers of “interactive” books and the apps to read them (Pad, iPhone, and iPod) Touch was acquired today by Facebook.
The company received a lot of positive press at the end of April when they released their first (and only) interactive book, “Our Choice” by Al Gore.
From the Push Pop Web Site:
Although Facebook isn’t planning to start publishing digital books, the ideas and technology behind Push Pop Press will be integrated with Facebook, giving people even richer ways to share their stories. With millions of people publishing to Facebook each day, we think it’s going to be a great home for Push Pop Press.
There are no plans to continue publishing new titles or building out our publishing platform that was in private beta.
So, if the paragraph above is a clue, Facebook will offer new ways for users to publish digital content. Perhaps, a digital book or a summer rafting trip or a company preparing a digital book with video of speeches by employees, their slides, pictures of attendees, etc. to their annual user meeting.
Of course, who’s to say at some time in the future Facebook doesn’t begin a digital publishing division. We all know things change and change quickly.
The company was founded by Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris who are former Apple engineers.
Here’s a 4.5 minute tour of the Al Gore book using PushPop’s technology that Matas gave at TED in Long Beach (2011).
I’m happy for the team at Push Pop; they’re a talented and experienced group, and Facebook is lucky to have them. But as a reader, and as a technology writer who’s been writing about digital publishingfor as long as I can remember, this news frankly bums me out.
We sorely need independent innovation in digital publishing. We need talented people who are willing to try things. Meanwhile, all of the money, attention and technological skill is marching in the opposite direction. Most big media companies with plenty of capital and deep technical talent see few if any reasons to innovate or invest in books.
From April/May 2011: