Facebook acquires tech start-up Push Pop Press

Facebook has acquired digital publishing start-up Push Pop Press for an undisclosed sum, saying it will incorporate the company’s technology into its vast network.



Based in San Francisco, Push Pop Press was founded in 2010 by former Apple employees Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris who “set off to re-imagine the book”.


The company helps authors and publishers convert physical books into interactive versions for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.


Push Pop Press shot to fame when it teamed up with former US vice president Al Gore to create the iPad app Our Choice, based on a book written by Gore. The app went on to win a 2011 Apple Design Award.


Facebook has acquired Push Pop Press for an undisclosed amount but has indicated that it has no intention to release digital books, suggesting the acquisition is purely a talent buyout.


“We’re thrilled to confirm that we’ve acquired Push Pop Press, a start-up whose ground-breaking software changes the way people publish and consume digital content,” a 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… Facebook.”


There is speculation that Facebook will use Push Pop Press technology to develop a Facebook app for the iPad, although Facebook is yet to confirm any of these reports.


In the company’s acquisition letter, Matas said Push Pop Press would apply its publishing technology and skills to “the world’s largest book”, referring to 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,” Matas said.


“With millions of people publishing to Facebook each day, we think it’s going to be a great home for Push Pop Press… We couldn’t be more excited.”


The news comes on the back of reports that Facebook rival Google has invested in coupon website portfolio company WhaleShark Media, which owns a suite of savings-related sites including Deals.com and RetailMeNot.


WhaleShark is a Texas-based company founded in 2009 by Cotter Cunningham. It has since attracted $133 million in funding from venture capital firms including Google Ventures, Adam Street Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Austin Ventures.


“We are a portfolio of sites that we have acquired. We’re interested in making a series of other acquisitions,” Cunningham said earlier this week.


Cunningham said the company would like to expand and will consider international acquisitions.


Google Ventures’ Karim Faris said in a statement WhaleShark “exemplifies the key characteristics we look for in an investment – community-fueled growth and products that address a pervasive market need”.


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