Facebook has announced this week the purchase of Push Pop Press, a fact that raised eyebrows and posed questions about where is the company going next.
Push Pop Press, started by two former Apple employees, Mike Matas and Kinon Tsubteris, aimed to change how the future books will be read. They presented their innovation at a TED conference in Sept. 2009 by using their first published book, Al Gore’s “Our Choice”. The book provides an interactive experience that has not yet been seen. You can read the book like a traditional book, flip pages in real time. You can tap on the pictures and they will enfold to a full screen, and pinch them down to size. You can watch the pictures turn into videos about what you read, photographed in the actual locations, and you can see statistical information. Not only that, you can play interactive games with the book, by blowing on the screen to see how fast the wind turbines move in the picture. AND you can do it all instantaneously without waiting for it to download. The book, readable on iPad and iPhone won Apple’s Design Awards.
Now people are wondering what is up Facebook’s sleeve? Are they branching out to new business that is not social media? Are they planning to start making and publishing books? Selling them through their site and competing with Apple, Amazon and Google?
On Push Pop Press’s website it says: “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.”
Some experts say the move to buy the company’s technology might be linked to Facebook’s entertainment platform. After all, for years Facebook has been saying they are not only a social network but an entertainment distributor. Facebook has a very robust gaming platform with hundred of million of users playing video games. Earlier this year, Facebook has started testing streaming movies in partnership with WB.
Or it might be that the purchase was to swoop up the talented engineers behind the company who clearly understand the tablet market better than Facebook.
Be it as it may, the Push Pop Press team will cease publishing books but the Al Gore book is still available for sale on their site with the proceeding going to charity.
People are lamenting the loss of such an innovative idea, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the end of it yet. Facebook, which was started in college and for college students, might have a plan to revolutionize future education, by working on the future of school textbooks. Electronic books which can be updated and improved without having to print any single copy.
And all the books a student needs, from kindergarten to post graduate, can be seen on one, easily carried, tablet.
- DBMEi: Publishing A New E Book Revolution
- NY Times: Why did Facebook by an ebook publisher?
- Push Pop Press
- Techcrunch: Facebook Buys Digital Bookmaking Service Push Pop Press
About Basil Puglisi
@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.