Facebook August 2 attracted a lot of attention for acquiring Push Pop Press, with media assuming the company wanted to get into the electronic book space led by Amazon.com and Apple.
Push Pop makes interactive books for the iPad, iPhone and other smartphones. The company is best known for publishing Al Gore’s “Our Choice,” which includes interactive graphics, as well as text, audio and video.
“Now we’re taking our publishing technology and everything we’ve learned and are setting off to help design the world’s largest book, Facebook,” according to a note from Push Pop Press Co-founders Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris.”
However, that doesn’t mean Facebook is going to start publishing e-books, according to Matas and Tsinteris, who added:
“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.”
Facebook added: “We’re thrilled to confirm that we’ve acquired Push Pop Press, a startup whose groundbreaking software changes the way people publish and consume digital content.”
ReadWriteWeb suggested the social network just wanted the Push Pop co-founder responsible for designing some of the popular iPhone software for Apple.
Both Matas and Tsinteris worked at Apple, but it was Matas who designed Delicious Library, the books-on-a-shelf interface Apple uses to display media in iTunes, iBooks and other applications.
What will that mean for Facebook users? The New York Times noted the move appears to be in step with Facebook’s not-so-secret mission to put more entertainment perks in front of its users.
Facebook pushes games from Zynga and others, as well as the occasional movie, such as “The Dark Night,” to users.
The reason for that theme is clear: increased user engagement, which leads to greater ad revenues. Movies are longer than shared video clips, and some people spend hours playing games in Facebook.
This boosts the ad-serving opportunities for Facebook, which means more sales for the company. More ad sales will increase competition versus Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and others, not so much Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN, which don’t rely heavily on advertising.
As a result of the acquisition, Push Pop will cease publishing new titles and building out its publishing platform.
However, Gore fans needn’t fret. Push Pop said “Our Choice” will remain available for purchase, with future profits donated to The Climate Reality Project.