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Push Pop Press drops iPad ebooks after being acquired by Facebook


Push Pop Press, a startup led by former Apple engineers with the goal of delivering dynamic books as iOS titles aimed at Apple's iPad, has been acquired by Facebook and will abandon its publishing platform plans.

Founded by Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, Push Pop aimed to build a platform for creating digital books using Apple's native Cocoa Touch, resulting in titles that were more dynamic than those built using basic web standards, such as the epub format Apple itself is using to deliver content in its own iBooks Store.

Tsinteris originally worked at Apple as an engineer working on Mac OS X and on the Maps app for iPhone, while Matas was hired by Apple from Delicious Monster in 2005 at the age of 19 to to help develop the visual style of Mac OS X and iOS user interface designs.

After creating a reference title with Apple board member Al Gore, a digital adaptation of Gore's "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis," the startup began working to deliver a platform to enable other publishers to bring their content to the App Store as immersive iOS apps.

Instead, the publisher was bought up by Facebook, resulting in an announcement by Push Pop that "we're taking our publishing technology and everything we've learned and are setting off to help design the world's largest book, Facebook."

Rather that continuing Push Pop's original mission to deliver dynamic books, Facebook will be using the startup's talent and technology to upgrade the publishing tools within its own product, "giving people even richer ways to share their stories."

The group stated, "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."

The move will reduce competition between Apple's own epub-based iBooks, and the proprietary formats for ebooks used by Amazon and other publishers. Apple itself has remained committed to expanding upon the sophistication of epub, adding features such as the ability to create read-along titles for children in the latest version of IBooks.

Unlike the platform Push Pop Press was working on, Apple's use of the industry standard epub allows anyone to create digital books aimed at iPad, iPhone, and other mobile devices. The epub format is essentially a self contained web site, using HTML, JavaScript and CSS to deliver dynamic content, digital publications.