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Facebook nabs interactive digital book publisher Push Pop Press

Our Choice via push Pop PressOn Tuesday Facebook announced their new acquisition of Push Pop Press,  a San Francisco-based startup that publishes digital books. The startup’s specialty is interactive, movie-like books for the iPad and iPhone. The financial details and the purpose behind the purchase are as yet unconfirmed.

Co-founded by former Apple employees Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, Push Pop came out of stealth mode in early 2011 and as they put it “set off to re-imagine the book”. They’re best known for creating Al Gore’s Global warming e-book Our Choice for the iPad, an app that garnered great press and won an award from Apple.

The company wrote in a press release on their website that the Al Gore e-book will still be available for purchase and that the proceeds will be donated to The Climate Reality Project. Aside from that exception, the Push Pop gates will be closed to any further publishing.

The question is: why did Facebook buy a startup that publishes digital books? In the same Push Pop statement, Tsinteris and Matas put to rest any thoughts that Facebook would be moving into the Google and Amazon dominated publishing territory.

“We’re taking our publishing technology and everything we’ve learned and are setting off to help design the world’s largest book, Facebook,” Wrote the co-founders. “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”

The main theory behind the purchase is Facebook simply talent hunting. GigaOM believes that Facebook is looking to add the talented Push Pop engineers to the HTML5 team. Most likely the San Francisco developers will be placed on the anticipated iPad app team, working with technology they’ve shown a high aptitude for.

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