In one of its first full-out acquisitions in recent memory, Facebook has bought digital book software company Push Pop Press. The announcement about the deal is meant to quiet the too-obvious reaction of “Facebook is getting into book publishing?”
Instead, the companies hint that the acquired employees will be involved in the visual, and perhaps touch-interface elements of 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.”
Most of Facebook recent acquisitions have been in the form of “acq-hires,” where one or more cofounders of a startup will be individually recruited in exchange for especially high pay, stock and other forms of compensation. Facebook has more typically bought entire companies when they also bring technology to the table, as Push Pop has.
The cofounders, designer Mike Matas and engineer Kimon Tsinteris, were former Apple employees who worked on its various operating systems. They left to launch Push Pop, which was used by Al Gore in his well-received global warming iPad book Our Choice, that in turn won one of Apple’s Design Awards.