Yesterday Facebook bought up an e-book design company, Push Pop Press, the company announced on its site. The acquisition of the digital reader company, known for its interactive version of Al Gore's book Our Choice, doesn't necessarily signal that the social network plans to branch out into the virtual reading space--often, Facebook snatches innovative companies for their talented staffs, explains Bits Blogs Nick Bilton. "Facebook could have chosen to buy Push Pop Press to swoop up a talented team of designers and programmers." But maybe this time Facebook has books on the brain. And, even if they don't, the integration of an e-book company into Facebook shows where publishing is headed.
Facebook proclaimed that it doesn't want to get into the e-book publishing biz. "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," Facebook explained in a press release about the acquisition. But Bilton doesn't buy their PR-speak. "That could be a good use of Push Pop. But there is reason for some skepticism. Facebook has made it apparent over the last few years that it is not just a social network, but an entertainment distributor, too." Facebook already acts as a gaming platform and experimented with streaming video in partnership with Warner Brothers--digital books could be next.