Facebook has acquired Push Pop Press for an undisclosed amount. Founded by former Apple employees Kimon Tsinteris and Mike Matas, Push Pop Press helps authors and publishers convert physical books into interactive versions for Apple's iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch devices.
Push Pop Press is most famously known for creating the iPad app Our Choice, based on the book by Al Gore that is meant to be the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. Matas, who worked as a designer for Apple between 2005 and 2009 before co-founding Push Pop Press, demoed the iPad app at the 2011 TED conference (video embedded above). The app went on to win a 2011 Apple Design Award.
Facebook does not plan to release digital books any time soon. In other words, this appears to be purely a talent acquisition. Push Pop Press employees will end up working on the overall Facebook experience. That may include Facebook's rumored iPad app, but they will certainly not be limited to one project.
"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," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We can't wait for co-founders Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris to get started, and for some of the technology, ideas and inspiration behind Push Pop Press to become part of how millions of people connect and share with each other on Facebook."
Here's the full acquisition announcement letter from Push Pop Press:
Last year Push Pop Press set off to re-imagine the book. We created a new way of publishing and exploring text, images, audio, video and interactive graphics, then teamed up with Melcher Media and Al Gore to create a new kind of book.
The result is Al Gore's Our Choice, which was released earlier this year. The response has been incredible. Tech columnist David Pogue of The New York Times summed it up by saying:
"this is one of the most elegant, fluid, impressive apps you've ever seen. It's a showpiece for the new world of touch-screen gadgets."
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.
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.
Al Gore's Our Choice will remain available for purchase, and we've decided that our future profits from the book will be donated to The Climate Reality Project. There are no plans to continue publishing new titles or building out our publishing platform that was in private beta. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported and expressed interest in Push Pop Press.
Both Push Pop Press and Facebook share a passion for improving the way we share and explore ideas and we couldn't be more excited about what the future holds.
Mike Matas Kimon Tsinteris Co-founders, Push Pop Press